Saturday, May 2, 2009

Saturday Soirée - A journal entry

Paging through an old journal I stopped at this entry dated 15th August, 2003.

I share it with you below.

It is so difficult to sit at the computer and write. Some nights, the most awesome feeling of exhaustion overwhelms me. My bed calls; a Harrison Ford movie beckons; a newly purchased book summons. Do I listen? Sometimes I do and sometimes I don’t. I know that regardless how tired and uninspired I feel, I should be faithful to my writing schedule to be successful.

I drag myself to my computer, face the blank screen for a while, and begin dabbling with some writing prompts. Sometimes I simply let my fingers dance across the keyboard producing words, phrases, sentences or just plane gibberish.

It amazes me every time, how the scales of tiredness slowly fall from my eyes; my mind awakens and is rearing to go. Ideas begin to flow and words begin to appear on the screen via my fingertips. Suddenly I can’t type fast enough to keep up with the speed at which my brain is working. Before I know it, I have an article ready to be edited and submitted. That’s how it is sometimes.

Then again, there are the dry times. The infamous and dreaded “writer’s block” manifests itself with no thoughts, no ideas, and no words. Not even writing prompts seem to help. At those times I feel justified to have a cup of coffee and page through a magazine or watch a movie. When I return to my computer an hour or so later, my mind tends to be in a different mode and I begin to write.

Sometimes I ignore my writing routine and succumb to the temptation to watch television instead. Of course, I sit there with a weight of guilt on my shoulders. When I feel guilty for not writing when I know that I should, I am convinced that I am a writer.

Like all writers, I often allow doubt and fear to pervade my thoughts and deprive me of the satisfaction of doing what brings me great joy. I allow them to rob me of the drive to ‘just write.’ I know that it is psychologically destructive to be paralyzed by doubts and fears. But I subject myself to the paralysis until I make a conscious effort to confront them, deal with them and write.

I find though, that the more committed I remain to my scheduled writing time, the less I procrastinate. The more disciplined I am about writing every day, the less often I experience writer’s block. The moment I begin to skip those appointments my rhythm falls apart and it takes me one or two days and sometimes a whole week to get back in writing form.

Do you ever re-visit old journals and come upon an entry that makes you stop and ponder about your writing journey? Do the same struggles and practices of yesterday still feature in your todays or have you discovered new ways to keep your writing alive and yourself in top writing form?

As always, you're welcome to share - share your journal entry (or a portion of it), what thoughts it triggered and any other insights you choose.


4 comments:

Joanne said...

I don't have old journals, but I have a few memories. I remember when I just started trying my hand at writing seriously, I had a tabletop word processor, and I think the screen showed 3 lines of text at a time. I worked in the dining room, and if it got too noisy, I'd sit at a tiny chair and table in my bedroom. It took just about all day to print out a manuscript, the printer was so sloooooow. Oh when I think of those beginning days, and just the equipment I use now, as well as how much my writing has grown, it's mind boggling. I don't know how I did it back then, where I found the perseverance to continue. As my husband says, that's what's called paying your dues.

Cheryl Wright said...

Joanne,

I remember those slooooow printing days too. Do you remember those boxes of continuous paper for the dot matrix printers?

Ah the good old days. Dues indeed.

Jan said...

My turn to give you an award, dearest Cheryl. Come on over! Hugs!

Cheryl Wright said...

Jan,
I'll be along shortly.

 
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