It’s Sunday morning, and I’ve just sat down and completed a three page speech for Kytelers’ this coming Saturday. I’ve had the notes in front of me all week, but between work and taking care of Calum, I’ve found myself simply unable to stomach any further endeavor by ten thirty in the evening. It’s only since this morning, when the little fella was asleep upstairs, that I felt able to sneak downstairs and start typing out the memorandia that has been collecting in my head.
I have always been able to write. Maybe not well, but that’s not what I mean. I have always, when granted five minutes, been able to simply pull out a pen and paper and produce. I had written about four truly dreadful books by the time I was twenty four, and I can remember one utterly embarrassing evening when I reduced a date to laughter while I tearfully read from the final chapter of my latest opus. (Oh god, why?!)
Now, I think I must at times reach the limit of endurance. I reach within my pantry for the materials to write and I find I’m a desert, empty of resources. I know I’m tired, certainly, but it means for the first time I’m obliged to wait until there is more within me. It is scary to be like this, to see this change. I get no sleep, no rest and now have to worry about my faculties going too. I have to schedule my writing. Ye gods.
Anyways. The speech is done, and I can hear him upstairs driving his Dad nuts. I’ll talk to you all tomorrow.
“Not writing” is one of the hardest, but most essential parts of writing.
Give yourself the freedom to not write. Learning to do that is a skill just like pace, rhythm, and character “voice”.
also, read Natalie Goldberg’s ‘Writing Down the Bones’ for some good “I don’t know what to write” advice.