Rebooting My Creative Process

Purple Coneflower, © Joan Z. Rough, 1989

A writer is a writer not because she writes well and easily, because she has amazing talent, because everything she does is golden. In my view, a writer is a writer because even when there is no hope, even when nothing you do shows any sign of promise, you keep writing anyway. Junot Díaz

Here I sit, trying to get started on my memoir writing process again.  Lots of things have been happening including a trip to Vermont, visiting the places I once lived and the people I love. I’m struggling with time and the need to do everyday things, including some fun, as well as writing.  My old friend fear of failure and revisiting old memories, is visiting at the moment. I just can’t seem to get started. There is always something else more important to do and I find myself saying yes to those many distractions that come my way.

I know what I need to do. Sit down every day and write, no matter what it’s about. As a starter, I’ve begun writing in my journal on a daily basis after a long period of doing it only once or twice a week. I’ve also started a daily meditation practice, which I’d been doing but have let slide for a long time. It’s a must for me, especially now, when I need grounding instead of flitting around the ether like a lost lightning bug.

I have five weeks until my next trip in late July when I go to North Carolina to spend a week visiting with my daughter and grandchildren.  I can write there as I’ll be in a small condo and though they live nearby, we always set aside a few hours every day when all of us get to have some quiet, alone time.  But unless I get a schedule going for myself now, actually doing the writing when I’m there will a challenge.

Before our recent visit to Vermont and after the garden went into simple maintenance mode, I had a great schedule going in which I exercised every morning and then spent at least two hours writing, usually ending up with at least 500 words. It was exciting and I felt very productive.  Since I’ve been back I’ve been in stalling mode.

So here I go again, jumping into the flow, praying that I’ll go with it instead of fighting my way up-stream, which I tend to do when I’m blocked.  Wish me luck and if you have a way of rebooting your creative process, let me know.  I can use as many suggestions as I can get.

This entry was posted in Fear, Life, Memoir, Time, Writing and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

13 Responses to Rebooting My Creative Process

  1. I’m trying to do exactly that at the moment. Whenever I have motivation issues (lack of it, that is, which is quite often), I turn to other writers’ blogs for inspiration, for their stories, for cleverly delightful phrases, for that little bit of wisdom that would get me wondering and thinking and hopefully writing again.

    Good luck.

    • jzrart says:

      Thanks for your visit, khairiehisyam. Reading other writer’s blogs are great inspiration for me too. Especially at a time like this. I hope you’ll get back in the swing too!

  2. ahamin says:

    I sometimes believe that time away from writing is as important as writing… you have to give your subconscious a chance to form the idea and speak.
    Best ideas originate from the subconscious, because our conscious is always busy with our reality.
    Have a happy writing

  3. Brenda Neil says:

    Sending you warm and positive energy to reboot. For me, meditation is always key! Love and hugs!

  4. shirleyhs says:

    Joan, I’m in the need of the same thing!

    I find it amazing how often I need to set the reset button on the creative process!

    Ritual helps, and every move and every trip requires us to set up a new schedule for our writing lives. You can do it!

    • jzrart says:

      Shirley, if you can do it, with all of your moves and traveling this year, I guess I can do it too! Thanks for the encouragement. Your right about ritual and I need to be doing that too.

      One day after we both get resettled again, let’s meet somewhere on top of the mountains halfway between your house and my house!!

  5. Clara says:

    Joan, I’m going through a similar time as I move into my own new stage of writing. When I stopped posting to my blog last year it was in large part because I felt I hadn’t found my “voice.” My husband, wiser about the writing process (after doing it for a living most of his life) kept saying: “The only way you’ll find your voice is to keep writing.” It took me this long — much too long — to take that to heart, although I knew in my head that he was right. So, I’m starting again, trying to live in the questions and without assurance of a clarity or a neat outcome. How hard that can be! Thanks for reminding me that I’m part of a community. (And, P.S., If you can take a break from your writing and your family while you’re here, I’d so like to see you.

    • jzrart says:

      Clara, Thanks for your comment. We all forget that we are part of a community and often feel so alone sitting in front of our computers trying to get the words out. It’s true that we just have to keep writing and living the questions, without spending our time worrying about the outcome. We need to believe in ourselves and what we can accomplish.

      And yes, I’d LOVE to see you when I’m in Black Mountain! Will let you know the dates soon.

  6. Gail Livingston says:

    Hi, Joan,
    I just finished Patti Digh’s Verb Tribe and believe that’s going to get me rebooted, We all know what to do, but life intervenes. But if you don’t live, you don’t observe, notice, and find your voice. After 37 days of writing with Patti and the Tribe, I actually did pull out a piece of my memoir and start to edit and rewrite. Your life is really full. I find every time I go on vacation and stop writing, it is just hell to catch up, rest, and go at it again. The part of my memoirs I felt drawn to work on is a piece about my cousin, 16 years my senior, who came out to me late in his life. It is first person narration with me channeling his voice about what it was like to be a gay man in the 1940s. My short-term goal is to enter it in a contest through Asheville Writer’s Workshop, the contest called “Hard Times.” Seems like a possibility for you. I too would love to see you in NC in you have time. Meeting in Asheville would be a natural. I am eagerly awaiting your memoir. I think you will feel free once you do the hard stuff. You are in my thoughts of loving kindness.

    • jzrart says:

      Dear Gail,
      Oh yes, how life intrudes. But it’s also a joy. I’m so glad you did Patti’s writing workshop. I remember that piece of yours about your cousin when you read it to us out in Taos one evening. It was wonderful then and am anxious to see what you have done with it.

      I’d LOVE to see you too in Asheville and will be in touch with dates very soon!

      Thanks so much for your encouragement.

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