Writing Will Always Welcome You BackClaire T.
Hello Swoon Readers and Happy February! In fact, Happy 2017. I know we’ve been apart for quite some time, and I have to say, you have never looked better. New logo, expanded range of titles—I’m loving the whole thing you are doing.
I wish I had as much to brag about. To be honest, I feel like my creativity has been stalling recently. I was doing a lot of solid writing last summer, and then the fall came, work picked up, a couple of major events happened (moving for one, the other I will not discuss now is predictably politically charged). Even poor, dear, sweet, wonderfully patient Emily of Swoon Reads superstar status has been politely asking me to write a blog post for months and as each deadline has come and gone, she has politely written a few weeks later asking “Do you want to write a blog post for next month?” No snide italics, no excessive punctuation to make me feel guilty, nothing. And every month I kept saying yes, thinking (hoping) motivation and inspiration would finally collide. And for months, nothing.
But here we are—back together again because I’m sitting down at my writing spot in my new apartment and deciding it’s time (actually like any good procrastinator, deciding it’s well past time). I’m here for a little mood booster, hoping to help you out of a funk (maybe you aren’t in one, how nice for you), hoping to help give you a little boost to keep going, hoping maybe just to put a smile on your face (we’re not alone in this wide world of creative endeavor).
It’s a strange place to be, aware that I haven’t done anything specifically creative in awhile, wanting to but also not really being motivated enough. To be honest, I’m not entirely comfortable in that space, I generally feel like I’m happiest when I’m turning on the creativity spout regularly. It doesn’t have to be every day, it doesn’t have to be good every time, but letting my mind go over to that *other* side of my brain and run free regularly is good for me, like exercise. So basically, mentally I had that feeling I get the week before I decide I absolutely *have* to get to a gym or I will be on the road to one of those TLC specials about the people they need a forklift to get someone off their couch, uncomfortable.
So a few weeks ago I was on a flight and I noticed a clever little saying on my cocktail napkin: “The best ideas start on the backs of napkins… Well, lookee here: a napkin.”
I wish I could say to you, right then I put down my club soda and lime, pulled out a pen and started jotting something genius down on said napkin, but I did not. I was traveling for work and had plenty to do to prepare for meetings. But the next week, I was on a different flight, noticed the same napkin again and decided that maybe the universe was trying to gently nudge me.
So tonight I’m finally doing it. I’m sitting down to write (you may have noticed, hello!). After I finish this post I’m going to write something else. I’m not entirely sure what actually, but it’s time. I hope you are having a winter that is rolling along, I hope you have had no shortage of inspiration, and I hope your fingers continue to fly across the keys (or your pen continues to dance across your page), but if not just know, I’m here. I feel you. Sometimes life is hard, distracting, and disappointing. Sometimes your days are full of trying to paint your living room before your new couch is delivered and you also just really want to check out and watch seven episodes of The Crown on Netflix. I feel ya.
But let me just throw this little reminder out there: this, the whole writing thing, this is good too. Maybe you aren’t at your breaking point yet, maybe you still need a few more hours, days or weeks to pull yourself back. Take your time. But if you’re sitting here reading and feeling that unreachable itch, that subtle but constant purring from the other side of your brain, find yourself a blank piece of paper and stretch your fingers and let go. It might be a little like going for a run for the first time in three months (painful, slow, and a little discouraging), but give yourself a break. Whatever you accomplish is good, and enough. You can do more tomorrow.
It’s nice to see you again, Swooners. I’ve missed you!