I've been struggling with my creativity and direction for a little while now. I've been writing through it, but it's been like walking through broken glass in my bare feet. The joy is there, but it's deadened by the pain in my feet. Every single time I think I've got it figured out, something happens to knock me back down and make me question pretty much everything. I know I'm not alone in this, most writers I know struggle with self-doubt, worry, impatience, as well as many other afflictions of the psyche that have the power to leave you a quivering mass of jelly. If you let it.
Sometimes you have to let it - you have to wallow in your self-pity and doubt for a short time. You say a bunch of curse words, eat chocolate, talk to your writing friends, and maybe drink a little Captain Morgan. Then, those feelings fade into the background where they belong. They never truly go away, but that's just part of being human.
Sometimes you've been at odds with yourself for so long, you've been dealing with the weight of everyday life for so long, that you wonder if your muse has taken a permanent vacation, leaving you to fend for yourself in a very scary place. Perhaps she's soaking up the sun with white sand beaches, adorable cabana boys, and an endless supply of umbrella drinks. That bitch. How dare she leave and not take you with her? But then, why would she want to hang out with you when you're not really listening to her, when you're letting everything else influence your time, ideas, and self-worth?
Anyway. I think I went off on a side trail there. I think I have a point.
Sometimes you forget about the things that inspire you. Sometimes your negative focus clouds your creative vision so much that you think you've lost the spark that made you write that first word on the page. That worry snowballs and the next thing you know, you're cleaning your house to avoid opening the document. And that, my friends, is troublesome.
So my point is...
That spark is here and as feisty as ever. That thing I thought I lost? I didn't. It's been here. Patiently waiting for me to figure out that the problem wasn't creativity, but me. I wasn't taking care of the writerly vessel well enough - not enough sleep, too much worry, not enough exercise, not stopping to take in the joy of what truly inspires me - you know what I mean. We're all susceptible to it. We get so caught up with everything else that basic needs slip through the cracks. We forget to refill the well, and sometimes, even when we think we are, we're so weighted down by things it's like having a hole in the bucket. It goes in, but doesn't stay in. That's what's been happening with me.
I'm not saying I have it all figured out, or that the stress and worry that have kept me feeling like a beat dog are suddenly gone, but I think recognizing the triggers is over half of the battle. And I actually had a brainstorm yesterday that netted some writing I'm really excited about. Of course, it's not on the wip I need to finish, nor is it on the next thing that needs written, but I'm going with the flow.
So, I guess that's just a long-winded way to say: Whoot! I'm working on something new!