“You’ve given us all lots of great ideas … but what can we do for you? How can we help you with your writing?”
Last night I attended a “mini-writers’ group” gathering which focuses on nonfiction, especially creative nonfiction. Others at the meeting shared about their writing and/or passed out copies to get advice, and we all pitched in our thoughts. As an editor, as well as a writer, I offered a number of suggestions and I also supplied a list of links to useful online articles which I had researched.
But I didn’t bring along any of my own writing. Why not?
Well, you know how it is … I’d been busy, busy, busy … editing for writers and tutoring wonderful young students (my business)… and I’d hosted a drop-in weekly summer writers’ gathering the previous evening … and I’d been doing research on various writing-related topics for clients and answering email questions from other writers … and I’d been keeping up on looking for and posting interesting writing-related links on my business Facebook page and our local OWL (Okanagan-South Writers’ League) writers’ group Facebook page … and I’d been scrambling to keep to my schedule for my tutoring blog (including working on my summer tutoring blogs for my tutoring students) and this writing and editing blog you’re reading right now and so on.
In fact … but …
In fact, I’d been doing lots and lots of writing-related activities and helping lots of people with their writing … but other than doing some obligatory writing on my blogs, I haven’t been truly writing, myself!
“Obligatory writing” … Did I really say that? ‘Fraid so! You know how it is–I’ve “made commitments” and “I like to help people”–but my initial enthusiasm has been waning and I’m starting to get (big confession) resentful. Yes, feeling obliged. And decidedly uncreative.
Yep, hearing that question about my writing stopped me in my tracks.
I realized that, far from being “creative” in my own writing, I’ve become pretty dull and mechanical. I have no trouble helping other people develop creativity (and frequency) in their writing, fiction or nonfiction or even poetry, but applying it to myself is a whole other story.
I started out this summer with good intentions to improve my writing (use humour, write directly and concisely, use lots of narrative/story, write lots every day, entertain while I teach, write in a manner that is both helpful and fun) AND to write daily, for enjoyment and to get published … but the reality has been as dull as our grey smoky summer skies these days. Talk about “doldrums”!
Thank you to the writers’ group! I needed that shake-up!
I needed to be reminded that I’m in a writers’ group to WRITE! It’s all fine and good to help others, and I really do enjoy doing that, but I need to let others take over some of the organizing and researching and such …
I do need to write. For myself. For pleasure. To get my creative juices flowing again.
Yes, I still want to help others, but I need to take care of myself and my writing first. (Ha! I’m already feeling guilty about my self-centered attitude: but hey! I’m gonna stomp on that self-condemnation! Away with you, false guilt! Now!)
Oh! But on the other hand … I do need to keep my business going!
The bills still need to be paid, and I really do enjoy tutoring and editing.
So please feel free to keep those editing and consulting and tutoring jobs coming … but also be patient with me as I take more time to do my own writing.
And I’d love your help and advice about my writing!
And I’m determined to let you take over more of the organizing and running of meetings and such (if they are valuable enough for you to want to do some of that).
And don’t be afraid to stop me in my tracks….
if I start falling back into my old habits again (because, yes, confession time again, this isn’t the first time I’ve gone through this…).
HELP NEEDED? Yes, please!!!!
And thank you!