I Just Want to Write

I just want to write, but writing right now — on this internet I both love and hate — also means reading. Reading to know what the hell I’m talking about, to be relevant, to be part of the conversation.

But I spend all week reading, scouring streams, clicking here and there, looking for specific things for work — and not necessarily for myself. When was the last time I read something purely for myself? When I dove into Pocket to read one of many pieces I’ve saved? The moment I finally find time for myself — a quiet Saturday morning, a husband still asleep, a rare weekend of no real plans — I think about what it is I want to say, but I want nothing to do with my computer. And so I don’t read, and I don’t write.

I just want to write, I say, so I tell myself to free write. To pick up that “unplug yourself” journal that my husband so graciously gave me as a small birthday gift, because he knew I was struggling with writing, with balancing work and free time, with pulling away from this damned screen. I love the sensation of holding the pen he bought me, of the way it hits the paper. But that has everything to do with the pen itself — it’s a nice pen — and nothing to do with the words I write. The very act — the flow from word to word, the re-appearance of my cursive letters, the expression of me in black ink — is meditative. Freeing. A tiny thing to do with my left hand. Is that what my handwriting looks like? But free handwriting feels strange. At work, we write a lot about getting inspired, finding ideas to write, and staying motivated. Just write for ten minutes. Just let it flow. Don’t stop. Let it all pour out. But as I scribble, how many times do I underline a word because I intend to hyperlink it? How many asterisks do I add to denote that something else goes there, that I need to google something, that this is incomplete? Really, how free is this process? The free write becomes five minutes of writing, and five minutes of internal editorial notes for when I transcribe the text into my blog’s dashboard. Because none of this matters if no one sees it.

I just want to write, but as you can see, I’m confused. I conflate writing with publishing; I’ve grown to believe that writing for five hours — only to leave it sitting as a draft at the end of the day and never coming back to it, ever — is a waste of time. I envy how others are fine with sharing every moment, every bit of fucking minutiae about their day, and wonder if I’m blogging all wrong. I didn’t always have this block: I used to write simply to see what I revealed, vomiting twenty pages just to get one gem of a paragraph. And I miss those days: when I worked part-time, when I devoted three full days a week just for writing, for thinking about writing, and for being able to sit in front of a blank page for hours, waiting for that spark, without feeling guilty. Writing — that good, automatic type of writing that I haven’t experienced in years — is like waiting for a bowel movement.

I just want to write, but I blame my position as a writer for the fact that I don’t write. I enjoy many aspects of my job, and feel extremely lucky to work where I do, alongside brilliant and talented people. I’m able to work with words, to write about writing and blogging and the internet, to edit other people’s work to make it better, and to think about ideas around reading, curation, storytelling, and publishing that I’d normally think about anyway. I don’t think there’s anywhere else I could or should be right now, and I still remember the plunge I took, over two years ago, when I applied for my current job. It’s the best professional decision I’ve ever made. But you have to be on all the time. Driven, current, motivated. And to be honest, sometimes I get tired. I spend so much time here: on this screen, in this dashboard, on this platform that I love, that I often have no mental energy to stay — as a writer like everyone else, as me — when my day is over.

I just want to write, but I continue to view each blog post as definitive, as some kind of statement. Who fucking cares, Cheri. Just shut up and write. I used to think I was a perfectionist, but I don’t think so anymore — I realize there are far more over-achieving people out there — and so I’m pretty sure I’m just lazy. It’s not that I try too hard to write something awesome. It’s that I don’t try hard enough.

I just want to write: about the difficulties I’ve faced so far in my tiny house project and the moments I’ve wanted to walk away, about not knowing what it is I’m really good at, about how the evolution of the DJ and the dance floor represents everything about what I hate about our culture today, about how one thing I can’t stand is overhearing how “transformative” 2014’s Burning Man was, about how I think I’m way too young to be jaded, about how socially awkward I can sometimes be, about drugs and how I miss taking them, about not wanting children but wondering what I’ll truly miss out on, about how I miss running but have finally found a new outlet in boxing, about how my husband and I — once travel writers — want to get unstuck and back out in the world, about how I find most travel writing trite, about how I hate the phrase “personal brand,” about how I feel I’ve no real ties to the Philippines and lack a sense of identity, and so much more. I have ideas, you see. And I’ve no clue where to start.

I just want to write. Ultimately, I suppose this counts.

Published by Cheri Lucas Rowlands

Senior editor at Longreads / Automattic

74 thoughts on “I Just Want to Write

  1. Just did the same thing myself. Wrote and posted before I had a chance to think twice. That’s the best part. We write because we can. Let the words keep on flowing!

  2. Man, can I relate to this. Comment 71, six months after the fact…you’re not likely to read it and you’re not looking for advice, but sometimes I take my pen and just enjoy the ink flow and doodle instead of writing, or just write the same word over and over, draw curves that aren’t even letters. I also paint for the sake of watching the paint swirl around…I don’t paint things; I just paint. It feels ridiculous for a minute and then it becomes meditative and I can let go in a way that I can no longer do with words, because they’re my job, too. I learned early on that doing something I love for money can quickly take the love out of it…it becomes so much more important to PRODUCE instead of to engage with what you’re doing. *Sigh* Maybe try the paint swirling sometime. It helps with the mental doldrums.

  3. I have been blogging on here for about 2 months and really love it. Writing has always been a huge part of my life, but one thing I find that blogging does not satisfy for me is that need to feel the pencil on the paper. I love the way the graphite feels as it molds into the curves and corners of the letters, the way it feels sliding across the paper.

  4. Am very new to Word Press, been writing only for the last tow months or so. Anything I have ever written is purely spontaneous as if with eyes closed, without any thought ever of what will others think about it, or if it is going to get me some reward or not.
    I see the daily prompt and write my poem or whatever, within five minutes. Good or bad, like it or not, my work has got to be my real feeling without sounding superfluous.

    Observing certain blogs, I have a feeling people spend long hours planning their writing and devising ways to be Freshly Pressed. Of course this lure for rewards improves their writing but the whole purpose of blogging is gone.
    WP is also more about site design and using good themes for your site rather than recognising actual creativity in people.

  5. Interesting post. I’ve only been blogging for a year now. One is my work life; the other is personal. Writing seems to come easy to me so I haven’t struggled over what to write on my two blogs. But there have been days that I haven’t bothered to post anything. Not because I don’t have anything to write about – maybe it’s just because I haven’t made a commitment to myself to post x-number of blogs x-times a week (or month or year). So . . . I hear you, and wanted you to know that I think you are writing just fine. It comes out fine on this side anyway. Hope the gears kick in again for you soon.

  6. This blog rings so true to me. Every word was honest. Every sentence I felt there and could feel the emotions transfer from screen to my heart. I’m a writer. The idea has me saying that I can ‘feel it in my bones’. My block is judgement. Every time I go to sit down and write even if it’s just for me – I feel like I’m typing in front of an audience staring. This over cloud of expectation.

    So, I totally see where you are coming from. And I love your blog! You are clearly a talented writer
    and I’m sure your work will keep me coming back!

  7. I hear you, how nice is it when you wake up on the weekend and have the house to yourself? The hardest part of writing for me is also just trying to find/steal/create the time to do it.

    Your site looks fantastic by the way!

  8. You’re not doing blogging wrong, you’re doing it just right. I identified with every bit of what you’ve written, especially about being a perfectionist. It’s surprising how being so self-aware can attempt to put a stop-cork on spontaneous expression – searching for the metaphor will perhaps leave that cursor blinking at the end of a white space, but it’s just you trying to get better and better.
    So don’t let that deter you from pouring your heart out in the notebook, publish both the perfect and the imperfect, because writing, above everything else is gracefully, unapologetically self-serving and all the better for it.

    P.s: You write beautifully 🙂

  9. I’m not going to write today
    The words just will not come.
    My thoughts are in the washer,
    Emotions on the line,
    And my writing is just too hard to find.

    Thanks for your words as always, I enjoy them all.

  10. Sure wish I had some magic words to write that would just turn that little light bulb on above your head and the next thing you know, 1800 of the best damn words you’ve ever seen would just spill right out of that fancy pen of yours onto the now not-so-blank paper, and before your better half even wakes, the writing would be done, with the whole day left over to just rest and relax, and forget that you were ever having any trouble with any of it in the first place. But since I don’t, how about this, you’re one of the most super-talented writers I have had the privilege of reading any time in the last decade or so, and you seem to have this whole Blog thing figured out better than anyone else I know, so put down the pen, grab whatever your favorite piece of electronics is, flex those typing fingers, and give everyone out here a quick 1000 words on why you should never overthink a Blog posting when you’re working on a deadline. Lol. Seriously, though, I’m pretty sure you’ve got it all in the bag, so I’ll read you later.

  11. I think every writer feels like this from time to time – and those periods can be long! The point is not to give up, not to give in to apathy – if you really want to write you will, it just may mean that inspiration doesn’t necessarily strike at the time you have available hours! I’ve started to keep a notebook with me all the time, in my bag, by my bed, in the car – so I can just scribble down thoughts that come to me, ideas about my book and its plot and characters, ideas for the next blog, or just great phrases that come out of nowhere that I might use one! I try not to limit my writing to just my computer – though we are joined at the hip some days! But you wrote this blog – so you ARE writing – it ALL counts!

  12. You wrote the answer yourself in one of the comments above… this is ‘your blog’. The words spill from inside… if you allow them to do so…and those who wield the pen are the worst judges of what others can find in what falls on the page. You never know whose life you may have touched, whose view you may have changed. You just write… because you are a writer.

  13. It’s Saturday morning and I’m reading your blog instead of writing my own…I so understand that need to do both, the problem with working all day on something semi-satisfying but then feeling like all the creativity is gone. I’m glad I found your blog today – maybe our writing energy will converge and we’ll both find more inspiration!

  14. for a second language writer like me, there is no such thing as free write. Every words or phrases I use, I have to stop and check if I use them properly. I am jealous of people like you who have the ability to write.

  15. Yes.., I agree, reading and writing is a non stop full time job and you must be dedicated and love what you do. I enjoyed reading this one. Kudos. ~S

  16. This resonates with me. I get it. Totally.
    I’d like to hope every writer feels this way, at least once. I know I do. And if all the other writers felt this way, at least once, then we’re on the right track. Seeing this post and all the replies gives me hope that I’m doing something right.

  17. It’s funny how every time you post something that resonates with me, I’d go, “now why didn’t I think of writing that?”. I like this post for so many reasons. You are one writer who I look up to when it comes to the ‘struggle’ of writing, and just about everything you write here, resonates with me. There are times I just want to “just write”, and not care about who would read it, but then I get scared, or lazy, or over think about things. Thank you for writing this.

  18. “how the evolution of the DJ and the dance floor represents everything about what I hate about our culture today.” I would love to read that post. I can relate to almost all of your article, but especially the bit about thinking you were a perfectionist and then realising you were just lazy. That’s perfect. And I know, like myself, when it comes to your job you’re not lazy, but when it comes to the things that matter to us… Actually I just want to sing! But like blogging, writing doesn’t matter unless it’s published and I sing flat so I stick with writing, because I can. Music requires mutual sacrifices – too much relying on other people – whereas with writing I am only reliant on myself… so I write. But, I’m lazy so I never take it anywhere. Good luck.

  19. I cannot tell you how much this resonated with me. At the heart of your post is a strange tension: of writing vs. writing, of work vs. work. Of work as scouring the ‘net for editorial work/ publishable posts of others/your own writing that will be published vs. work as writing that “unplugs” you. The first kind will be seen by others immediately or is a site where you have to make some kind of statement, as you say, while the latter will be unshackled by such considerations, free-flowing.

    But I think the latter kind of writing, in the final analysis, is work too, very hard work although it may not seem like it when it happens and often the drudge work part of this kind of writing is less visible than of the former kind. So when you are less exhausted from the former kind of writing/work the latter will come. Or perhaps it’s possible to mentally train oneself differently for the two kinds of writing work quite consciously, knowing that both are work from the thinking/inception stage itself. I’m struggling with this myself.

    The reverse can happen to people too. Too much of the latter, soul-searching, “unplugged” kind of writing can make one feel aimless and guilty with a feeling that one is not working at all while the rest of the world is busy doing work–writing the real, hard stuff that matters to people out there, coding, selling things, analyzing chemicals or whatever. I think writing is one of those strange things that, in some of its garbs, fails to look like work (we sing because we must, it’s a labour of love etc.) and so we expect it to just come somehow. But perhaps if we understood it differently vis-a-vis our idea of work we might be more successful trying and less frustrated when it doesn’t come immediately.

    Sorry if I didn’t make sense but I’m still thinking this one through. 🙂 Thanks for a beautiful post.

  20. Fantastic post, Cheri, raw and relevant to many of your readers, including me. It also made me feel very protective of you, a relative stranger, and that’s a testament to your honesty, accessibility and beauty of expression. It seemed like you were writing your way out of the fog as the article progressed.

    Sometimes we expend our energy on external things, however rewarding, and there is none left for ourselves. The beauty of your day job is you are undoubtedly feeding your creativity and it will find a way out. Always a pleasure to visit you here and can’t wait to read the posts you list. Oh and also loved the bowel movement line :). Nillu

  21. Oh man. I’m a little late to reading this because, like you, I don’t really want anything to do with my computer on a quiet Saturday morning anymore, and I’m sort of overwhelmed by how much stuff I want to read online (or probably more accurately, *think* I want to read – or think I *should* read) and so I find myself reading very little. But this really, really resonated, as so much of your writing does – particularly this line: “I just want to write, but as you can see, I’m confused. I conflate writing with publishing; I’ve grown to believe that writing for five hours — only to leave it sitting as a draft at the end of the day and never coming back to it, ever — is a waste of time.”

    I just want to write too, and I feel like I haven’t written much at all lately. A piece every couple of months: that’s it. And yet earlier today I was going through a folder I have on my computer, with various drafts and snippets of writing, searching for something specific, and as I was going through that folder, I was struck by how MUCH there was, even from recent weeks and months, when I haven’t felt like much of a writer. All of it messy, full of notes to self (insert link here, rephrase this, add something about this here, get relevant quote from piece I read recently, etc.), unpublished and currently unpublishable – but it’s funny how I’d just blocked out all the collective hours I’ve spent making these notes, writing down these thoughts – how I’ve grown to feel that my words in draft form don’t count as real words. I know, of course, that this is partly how I think through ideas – by writing messily about them, and then sorting through the mess later – and I know that some of those drafts and snippets are sitting there waiting for their time, and maybe in a year, or two years, they will turn out to form the basis of a more polished piece of writing. And I think what your piece here made me remember is that some of them will never be any more or less than they are now, and that’s okay too: there’s still value in having spent that time; that time was still spent writing. (I guess even this long, rambling comment is a form of writing!)

  22. Writing is something I actually enjoy. I love the freedom writing gives my mind. I love the fact that it forces me to focus my thoughts and complete them in a timely manner because otherwise they would bounce around more than my two year old nephew. I love the fact that I can use this talent I have to make someone laugh or perhaps give them a difference of opinion on a topic they were already going back and forth on. I love how a pen sometimes feel natural between my fingers. I even like the smell of a new journal. BUT I have trouble figuring out what “something” I’d like to write about. I often start posts with the intent of publishing that day only to lose my “footing” and forget about them days later. I often ask myself (yes my writer self talks a lot to my non writer self) how is it that I have so many ideas and opinions but I can’t even formulate a provocative phrase or sentence. The only answer I ever come up with is fear. I’m afraid of failing at the craft I have loved since I was twelve. I’m afraid no one will read, like or comment on my blog. I’m afraid in a fit of writer’s block rage that I’ll delete my blog because I have grown so incredibly frustrated with the process of writing. But at the same time, my fears aren’t always validated because I can’t garnish readers, likes or comments if I don’t first write “something”. Sometimes I feel as a writer I just have to take a leap of faith not only in myself and my abilities but in my writing. That one day my writing will reach the right person at the right time. All of that to say thank you for “just writing” this post. =)

  23. Writers are like most people: always in transition, always in between one place and the next. Sometimes we’re able to express that, and other times we have to wait a little while before we can express it; however, we’re always writing: our thoughts are a current from which nothing ever really disappears, but only transforms into something for another time, in another place.

    And when the time comes for your writing to flow, you’ll know –or your fingers will know– through the same magical process that garnered this wonderful piece and each one before it.

    You know that feeling, and how it will be more than beautiful. You know how it will be everything you’ve ever hoped for and still more, when –even if only for a moment– you’ll be the greatest writer the world; the one that everyone’s been waiting for. Or at least, the one that you’ve been waiting for.

    Keep writing; keep believing:

    You are always one step closer.

    1. Writers are like most people: always in transition, always in between one place and the next

      I’m continually inspired by what I read in my blog’s comments — this one is no exception. This is so well-put, and I appreciate you taking the time to share your own thoughts on the writing and creative process.

      I think this reminds me of why I’ve found the idea of ephemeral forms of social media — ie, Snapchat — intriguing: an outlet to express ourselves at any given moment, but without the permanency. (But I’ve never gotten into Snapchat or anything similar — ultimately it’s not something I want or need.)

      But anyway, I like your thoughts about *knowing* that feeling, and awaiting that time when one’s writing becomes magical again. It’s all part of the process, isn’t it?

      1. Yes! And I think worrying about the process just comes with the job. Of course, it’s also just a strange time now in the age of the internet, when there’s so much out there going out so rapidly that it makes us feel like we’re being left behind. We don’t have to feel that way, however! As long as you’re still reading, you’re still absorbing material, and even if you’re writing for a publication other than your own, you’re still expanding your breadth of work. In this way: if you’re still alive, then your life is still filled with opportunities for the next great piece! Just like this one, and so much more which will come after it! 😀

        And, as a side-note: I also find apps like Snapchat to be interesting even while I don’t use such apps myself. I think while it’s popular to criticize social media as a dehumanizing process, there’s still something about it which is just fantastic: social media creates moments between people, and people have always needed those moments. After all, I’m certainly grateful for finding this moment of yours! And sharing it with you for a little!


  24. Love your quote, “Good…writing…is like waiting for a bowel movement.” After decades of writing both privately and online, I too wonder about the act of writing more and more. Mostly I wonder if the words I write are my true voice or a style I present to the world. It’s ironic that while writing is supposed to reveal the truth about our world and ourselves, we instead find that it might be a good cover under which to hide. By the way, I look forward to discovering what you have to say about the evolution of the DJ and the dance floor. Hopefully that post comes out soon?

    1. By the way, I look forward to discovering what you have to say about the evolution of the DJ and the dance floor. Hopefully that post comes out soon?

      I started writing something a while ago, and I think I was approaching it wrong (felt very academic and sterile), so I stopped. Might try again. If you’re interested in a bit of background, consider this line from a piece I wrote on Cyborgology (it’s toward the bottom, in the second half of the post):

      In that world, the DJ was revered, but he or she was a mere messenger of sound—a far cry from today’s on-stage performer….Back then, the music was faceless, often stripped of vocals, controlled by no one.

      It’s a piece about the dance scene in SF/Oakland in the 1990s, which I was part of (and still feel very much connected to). I’ve been to a few larger massive parties in the past few years (do the kids these days call them “festivals”? 🙂 ) and the “dance floor” as I knew it has largely disappeared. Dancers are now spectators and consumers. Distinct dancing tribes within the mass, that interact with the beat rather than succumb to it, are harder to find. Eye candy (visuals on screens, production shows, on-stage dancers) and the DJ as a performer have become the “face” of the music.

      Before, my favorite part of dancing to techno and dance music was the freedom to imagine the sound as I wanted, sans visuals, in a dark room.

      I’m rambling here… Hoping to put together some thoughts in a piece that makes sense, and that I’m proud of.

      1. I believe you started rewriting your piece about techno music and the modern DJ right here! I look forward to reading about “festivals,” “dance floors,” and more. 🙂

  25. This was a really fantastic piece, and it really does count as a start to getting back to the writing that you’ve missed. Being focused on the “big picture” of getting your writing noticed is what stops a lot of writers from writing, I think. Writers think that getting published is the end game, and that once they get published they’ll never have a problem writing anything again. It’s really the opposite – the pressure to be published time and time again takes away from the act of writing itself, because the writer will become focused on what’s marketable and what people would want to read, what editors and agents and the media are going to want to publish. Even if a writer publishes it on their own blog, their primary concern is “Do people really want to read this?” and that will determine whether or not they actually post it or not.

    Don’t get discouraged. This post is a great step back into what you’re longing for when it comes to writing. A friend of mine, much older than myself and much more experienced as a writer, went through the same struggle. He found a solution and a sense of peace by writing things for himself and no one else, and if he did feel an inclination to share it he would only share it with people he knew would understand it. He says that it was freeing and reminded him about why he loved writing in the first place, and as a result his work related writing flourished too. It’s almost very much the same as your journal that your husband got you. You should keep up that practice of just writing in that journal or through another method, and not worrying about editing it at all or even showing anyone else. I’m sure you’ll find it easier to write in no time. I wish you the best of luck though.

  26. Yes, Cheri, as Patricia says in the comment just above mine, “you have hit a nerve with your words here.” I like what Austin Kleon says in his famous little yellow book with the French-flaps binding, which I keep on my writing table these days:

    crafting something

    is a long,
    uncertain process.


    maker should




    — Austin Kleon, Show Your Work!

    1. I’ve heard Kleon’s book referenced so many times. Might be time to pick it up. I love this:


      maker should




      It reminds me of what this blog — my blog — is all about, or at least what I’d hoped it could be. Thanks for this nudge of inspiration.

  27. One of my writing partners has always worked crappy jobs, yet has gone home at night and had fuel, her angst, to move her writing along. Now she is filled creatively in her occupation; she loves it. However, she gleefully drains her creativity from 8-5 and then realizes when she sits down to write that she is spent and has nothing left to give to her own writing. It’s a conundrum, and I think all creative face it, in our own ways.

    Whatever just happened between you and your keyboard there, it was magic. It was love and it was beauty. If only for a brief moment, you can be sure that your voice and true expression shone through in lovely flowing clarity and we all heard you. Please, let’s all just try to get out of the way of ourselves and write like that more often, for surely that is what the world needs.

    1. Your words are inspiring! I wasn’t sure what I was going to write when I sat down yesterday morning, but it indeed became a 20-minute cathartic free-write of sorts. I just got out of the way, really forcing myself to stop hitting the “delete” button to reshape my sentences. It’s hard.

      Thank you for your comment — it’s a nice reminder of what I need to do.

  28. I feel very similarly about writing nowadays. If it’s not going to get published online, it’s like it’s not worth my time and energy. And like you said, I feel so unsure of myself when I write on certain subjects, in case I haven’t got all the facts straight, or if my opinion has been written before, or if my opinion is even a valid opinion. So many thoughts, when really I should just write for myself more.

    Those ideas you put down at the end of the post sound so exciting. Just the way you wrote them – reading that whirlwind list was thrilling! I hope you find time and space and anything else you need to just write them.

    1. …when really I should just write for myself more.

      Yes. So simply put. I think back to my old Diaryland site, which is still online but private, and how much I wrote there, about everything, for my close friends. Embarrassing and revealing, debaucherous and gluttonous. But fun, raw, and fresh. What I’d love to do is blend the uninhibited Cheri of then with the (slightly more!) mature Cheri of now, who is a much tighter, better writer with a bit more perspective. When I can get comfortable with *that* voice, I’ll have found my stride again.

  29. You nailed it with this one! Despite not being sure of what to write you expressed it perfectly. I often feel that I’m doing something wrong in my blogging. But then a random idea pops up, I write and then that’s all that matters. I know a few things I’m incapable of. Writing about minute details of my daily life or being brutally blunt about certain things. So I try not to stress about the things I can’t do. But yes, I also get those dry patches where I’d rather watch a series on cable than turn on my laptop. When I do quench my thirst with random words thrown at my screen, it is pure and simple bliss!

  30. Is it possible we are the same person? I have thought just about every point you’ve managed to so eloquently publish here. I am relieved to see it, and a little bit envious that you were able to put it into such readable and relatable words.

    Thank you, Cheri. I really needed to see this, this week. Faith, mostly restored.

  31. I’m lucky. I write when I want to. It’s just a hobby to me. A way I can give and vent. I think you’re stuck in a place you’ll find your way out of.

  32. Fab post! I love love love your phrase ‘automatic type of writing….like waiting for a bowel movement’ – that’s it for me too!! I will have to follow you now 🙂

  33. Several sentences in your post illustrate what many young and not so young people who write feel. Occasionally or even quite often.
    “I conflate writing with publishing.” Two very different things, that’s right. Regardless of wanting or not to reach publication, (away from the writing you do for your daily job) writing must comes first. Thinking of being published stops the creative flow. I love the notebook as a unique tool that can help you to find your voice again.
    Then, the last paragraph of your post is charged with raw emotions that I find moving. Being honest about what you feel and showing your vulnerability is a good start for a piece of writing. Either a blog post, a short story, or a novel.
    I think that the readers you have appreciate that you can also be at lost sometimes. The name of your blog is after all about pushing your way through the physical fog of the city but perhaps more through the foggy moments of life, when nothing is crystal clear and being quiet and alone is needed to find the path.
    And I like the hope of your last sentence. Best to you.

    1. Being honest about what you feel and showing your vulnerability is a good start for a piece of writing.

      I agree — I’m open and honest here, asking questions as I write my way to clarity. But there are a number of topics I’ve been ignoring and writing around — many mentioned in that last paragraph — and I want, and need, to dig in to those. (It also wouldn’t be fair to share those points and not address each of them at some point!)

      1. This is true. As long as you don’t open up, you are free to keep things close to your chest. On the other side, your readers would be deceived if you didn’t follow on the issues you mention in this post. Many are serious and I understand that you need time to address them. Sometimes fiction is what allows us to share these issues without having to tell them in the first person. Looking forward to reading you soon, about those topics or your tiny house.

  34. I write and edit copy for work, blog and write fiction. I so often feel this way, that I’ve become attached to life through a screen and it can be exhausting keeping up. Usually the writing I want to do most is what suffers when I become overwhelmed, but disconnecting for a time does help.

    1. Indeed, it’s exhausting, and when the weekends rolls around I just want to go outside. And I do — and collect new experiences to write about — but once I’m back to this screen I’m back to work again, and I file those ideas away for rainy days.

      I complain too much about writer’s block, I think — if other full-time writers can manage their personal interests alongside their professional work, I should be able to as well. But I see my journalist-friends and other writers on all the time: tweeting, reading, writing, sharing, promoting, engaging. And so perhaps I could look at this more as social media fatigue, not writer’s block?

  35. The desire to write is complex and contradictory, as it is self-indulgent and deeply personal, but also continually driven by a need to connect with other people. You just wrote; you just connected. Thank you for sharing your angst; it was beautifully expressed. The drive to write, to leave a trace of ourselves, is as old as man and has nothing to do with technology. Technology has made it easier, but since when has easier made for good art? Unplug. Uninstall. At least temporarily, to give yourself time to think. Think. Write. Why? What? Who will this affect? Why does it matter? These questions help me orient my thoughts constructively. For me, finally letting go of some cherished ideas that it has anything to do with money or talent (in my case, of course) was key. It is simply the desire to lovingly handle words and phrases, and value them, as some enthusiasts do wines, or groves of heirloom olive trees. Some years will bring an unforgettable harvest. Other years there will be inexplicable freeze/thaw cycles. But every year will bring something good, perhaps even something to bottle and age into amazing complexity. If you love the process, it will happen. (sorry this was so long, but your post resonated with me and I’m sure it will speak in a similar way to others. :o)) !

    1. Don’t apologize for your thoughtful and beautiful words! I love this:

      It is simply the desire to lovingly handle words and phrases, and value them, as some enthusiasts do wines, or groves of heirloom olive trees.

      So wise. Thanks for the clarity.

  36. You beautifully articulated so much of how I feel every day. I’ve spent the past four hours disconnecting and moving through various tedious household tasks — laundry mostly. It has helped. I bet just putting this post out there will help you clarify some of your priorities, and I guarantee it will help other writers. Thank you from one of them.

    1. Happy to hear that this resonated with you. I do feel this every day — the mix of wanting to write, the lack of time (or perhaps not having the drive nor discipline to properly carve out time), and the mental energy suckage from work.

    1. Wasn’t sure what I was writing at first — I sat down yesterday morning to write *something* but didn’t know what, so it became its own free write of sorts. I’m glad you identify with it. I think many others share this experience.

      1. That’s exactly what happens to everyone. The best thing came out when we aren’t in the mood of it.
        And so are the most wonderful things done through a mistake.

Leave a Reply

%d bloggers like this: