I’ve been on a hiatus of sorts, and it isn’t because I haven’t wanted, or had the intention, to write. My writer friends will understand this phenomenon- wanting desperately to write, and having tons to write about, but simply being unable to find the time, motivation, or the energy to do it. As a writer, sometimes you need a time out to work through issues and allow yourself space to absorb and learn some lessons.
The road to Hell is paved with good intentions, or so they say. For the past few months, when it comes to writing my blog and starting some new projects, my good intentions have mostly gone straight to Hell. What’s going on?
Without getting into painful detail of how and why, I will do a brief recap the past few months which have put a strain on my intentions to write.
1. I had a major surgery which sapped my physical strength and put me behind on many projects.
2. I ramped up my freelance work on the weekends and evenings.
3. I have significantly increased my social media and networking activities.
4. I’ve been more socially active and engaged with my husband, friends, and family.
5. I needed some time to absorb some lessons and transitions in my personal life.
6. And last, but not least, I have felt a bit jaded and cynical about my direction and present path. (More on that later.)
Since I write for my “day job” and often have after-work projects for my own freelance work, my blog writing has suffered. It isn’t that I lack inspiration or desire! It is a matter of priorities and time management.
Even as each day I jot down topics and thoughts I would love to write about, but once I think about starting to write, I become overwhelmed with fatigue and the desire to interact with my family, and other reasonable excuses derail my best intentions. My main struggle is trying to prioritize and balance out the desire to write with having actual real-life interactions, conversations, and experiences.
Whether we like it or not, writing is a solitary activity. When I write, I go into the zone and am cut off from others. Even when I write at work, surrounded by other people, I find a way to tune it all out. This ability is almost a requirement in order to be able to produce quality work, but it has its problematic outcomes, especially with family members feel shut out or ignored.
At work, it is often my fear that I will come across as being aloof or distant- or even worse, unfriendly. That is not the case at all. It is hard for non-writers to understand what it takes to create something worth reading. The process can be painful, and it may require the writer to tap into deep feelings and thoughts which aren’t easily explained. Distractions and interruptions are to be expected, but there are times when they completely disrupt the flow of creativity. Once that happens, it can be very difficult to get it back.
November has been a month of deep reflection for me. It has always been one of my favorite months and this year it is even more so. This November has brought up some deep emotions, and I have had some profoundly emotional moments in the past weeks.
This November marks a few big “anniversaries” of two noteworthy events- and they are both strangely intertwined.
My husband was born fifty years ago on November 25th, 1963, which also happens to be the exact day of the state funeral for President John F. Kennedy. Fifty years- half a century ago, I was a mere baby of 18 months of age. Obviously much too young to understand the events of the day, but as I think and hear about the day now, it has a deep and emotional impact.
This month, many television programs have been airing on the 50th anniversary of the assassination and death of President Kennedy. It is unnerving to think I am now almost a decade older than JFK was when he was killed. Although I was not old enough to remember the events of that day, the fact that I was alive at that time makes me a part of that era. I remember growing up hearing all the Kennedy family tragedies and tribulations. I was six years old when Bobby Kennedy was shot, old enough to know something terrible had happened.
For whatever reason, I didn’t feel the impact of turning 50 years old in May of 2012, but I am truly feeling it now. It’s hard to say why, but maybe the 50th anniversary of a truly seminal, historical event has put those 50 years into a sharper perception and context for me.
In the last week I have watched many programs on public television which showed footage and interviews had hadn’t seen before. I found myself overcome with deep, piercing emotion.
After 50 years, regardless of your political leanings, it is a tragic story of individual and national loss. That JFK’s death happened in view of thousands of people, and later would be seen by millions, makes it that much more horrific and agonizing. The funeral footage is almost unbearable to watch- the beautiful, young, widow and the young children at the grave. Even though I’ve seen those images hundreds of times, this year they have really gotten to me.
So, there it is in a nutshell. My “excuses” for not being as prolific a writer as I would have hoped to have been. I am working to find that perfect balance and find ways to live my life away from a keyboard while I long to do more writing on many topics of interest. That is the balance I am striving for right now.
Stay tuned, I’ll let you know how successful I am.