Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Sometimes Creativity Doesn't Happen on a Page

I wanted to participate in Sunday's check-in, but lost my nerve and cancelled my post.

I'm sorry that I did. At the time it was my way of saving face.

Now, I realize that ROW80 isn't about always hitting the goals, always being "on", or absolute perfection. But Sunday I forgot all of that. It seemed easier to crawl into bed and fantasize that come Wednesday I'll have a post full of promise.

Well, it's Wednesday and my post isn't full of promise. Instead of saving face I'll just be real. I haven't had a great week. I could analyze it, but I won't. I could blame the weather, outside forces, or poor sleep - but those are entities that always pop up in my life. Time is valuable. My career as a writer is valuable, but so are other aspects of my life. Am I a writer? Yes. Do I want my novel completed and polished? Yes. Do I want an agent? Yes. But there are other parts of my life that are valuable as well.

Sometimes that means unplugging and putting focus on the home, the family, and myself. Sometimes that means not writing, not stepping into a fictional character's life, and it also means giving myself permission to not perform.

When that need arises, I turn my creativity elsewhere. I have a passion for decorating. I enjoy baking. When my life feels messy, I like my home to be clean and uncluttered. It brings me a sense of calm. After the Christmas decorations, the house looks plain - uninspired - fresh flowers in several rooms made all the difference.

So while the following things weren't on my originial goal list, I did accomplish: working out, baking cookies, rennovating my kitchen, organizing the spice cupboard, decluttering the bedroom, and finding just the right centerpiece for the dinner table on pasta night. And all of that brought me intense pleasure.

As a result, I'm feeling balanced and focused. I'm just itching to mess around in the life of a character or two. I have ideas demanding to be released, even if it's in the form of a quick paragraph or two. The desired goal today is to do some writing, some editing, visit some fellow ROW80 bloggers, and channel creativity in whatever form feels right. And above all - being real.

Sometimes my creativity doesn't happen on a page.



  1. Next time post even if you have nothing to post. It's about accountability. Don't hide from it ;) I'm glad that you posted today. We all have hit or miss weeks. That's ok. That's life. Find your process. Find what fits your life. Writing or not, you had a productive week. Be proud of that :)

  2. Writing is tough -- no need to be ashamed of not always making it. All the same, a writing dare takes courage.

    Part of why it's good to do a writing dare in a group like this is that we can see we're not alone in our struggles. It might help your courage to realize that when you report your own struggles, it helps others see that they aren't alone.

    And as Ryan says: don't worry about it. You'll find your process.

  3. Hey Marie!

    As long as you're happy, I see no reason to sweat it. I also enjoy a clean house, which many writers claim they can't have while producing great work. Nonsense, LOL! I've never heard of ROW80 before, guess I'll check it out some time.


  4. It can be so hard to fess up when we miss our goals. It good in at least two ways though. Number one: we are more likely to keep up the goals if we know we have to cop to our progress later. Number two: we're all human and we all miss the mark sometimes. Fessing up lets our ROW80 community and fellow bloggers encourage us and help us to see where we have made progress. This is so true for me anyway.

    You're so right about balance. I know that I always want all my writing goals done right now but I have a home and children to manage as well as work-at-home obligations.

    Again, hang in there!

  5. One phrase that might help: it's not NaNoWriMo. xP You will not have shame bars telling people you are way behind target, neither will you it telling you you're won't hit target until the distant future.

    You are only accountable to yourself. If you can't, or don't feel like, writing one week then that is for you to make that decision. ROW80 groupies are here to support you if you're struggling, if you need a boost, inspiration, advice, or just someone to listen to you.

    But we're not here to judge you.

    I hope that you have a great week (it sounds like you've still had a very productive one).

    All the best,


  6. Excellent. :) I agree, you are spot on with the balance statement. I think, as humans, we're so out of touch with ourselves that most of the time we don't realize something's out of balance until we're struggling. We need to see that sooner. Also, nice to know I'm not the only imbalanced one out there. LOL :)

  7. Marie, you are so right about your creative process. Don't think that just because you're not writing, the creativity isn't perking along inside you. Sometimes it's the diversions that give us the time to let the creative ideas form and bloom. I agree with you about how those household tasks can be intensely satisfying. For me, doing those things get me organized on the outside, but they are a reflection of my inner organization, getting my ideas in order. Please keep checking in. Your post made me think, and it made me remember that downtime is okay.

  8. One of the reasons that people who experience and "do life" make great story makers is that they get out of their heads on occasion. So don't feel guilty. Savor it. You made the next check-in, and you'll make the next one, surely, because you now know it isn't about the number of words you've written or how much Butt-in-chair- time you've gotten. You know it's about your choices and your process.

    BTW, I thought this was an excellent post.

  9. It is so hard when our check-ins aren't necessarily what we wish they were but I am yet to read a blog where someone is 'perfect' 100% of the time!

    Glad you are feeling balanced and focused, lets face it without feeling that your writing is not going to flow! Have a great rest of your week :)

  10. Thanks Ryan - and even though I wanted to skip this week again - I knew that I couldn't. Hope you had a great week! :) Thanks for stopping by!

  11. Thanks Daring Novelist - and with this wonderful group I definitely feel a ton of support.

  12. Thanks so much Ella for stopping by!! *doing a fan girl bow* I don't function well around clutter. I find clean and orderly so much more inspiring :) I hope you've had a fantastic week!

  13. Very much appreciated Sonia. I have days where I wish that I could ignore everything else that needs to get done and concentrate just on my book, but I know in the end it wouldn't make me happy.

  14. Thanks Kelly! You're right - nothing like NaNo - which I have yet to ever participate in. To me it seems more like a crash diet. I don't work well that way, lol. Support is wonderful and healthy. I am definitely not alone here :)

  15. Lol! MyRandomMuse - definitely not the only imbalanced one. It's a daily struggle! But I know it's the good kind of struggle :)

  16. Aw, thank you Suzanne! Downtime can be positive. I get stuck in the mindset sometimes that if I'm not hitting my goals, then I am failing, when that isn't the case. And isn't healthy. I so appreciate you stopping by! I hope your week has gone well :)

  17. Your comments are appreciated Kymele! And though I'd wanted to get further on my edits, I'm still very proud of everything that I did accomplish. And that includes time spent away and unplugged :)

  18. *hugs Em* Thanks sweetie. I sure do love the times when I'm goal busting, but I'm working on not getting down on myself even when I'm not. Always thrilled when you stop by!