I’ve been doing a bit of thought about a post I’d like to write soon, and I’d very much like your insight. Why do we blog? There are many reasons why I have a blog, but I’m trying to figure out just why so many of us put ourselves out there for the world to see. So I’m interested in what you, fellow bloggers, are getting out of the whole blogging experience! Please take part in my easy-peasy poll and/or leave a comment to tell me: why do you blog, and what is your ultimate goal? Participants will be kindly thanked by me mentally sending you a box full of the cutest hypo-allergenic kittens in the world (assorted colors and sizes)!
I’m struggling with this post. Ironically enough, I’m trying to write a post on writer’s block. So, having writer’s block about writer’s block…kind of dumb, right? Since starting this Zero to Hero blogging process (and thinking about the upcoming A to Z Challenge in April), I’ve been thinking a lot about creativity and what it takes to keep pushing through blocks. It has been a long time since I’ve pushed myself creatively, and I’m afraid that it will wane at some point, as it always does. Yesterday I found a blog called Year of Creative Habits, by Crystal Moody. Every day, she posts pictures of drawings that she’s made in a small notebook while having breakfast. On day 17/365, she included this quote by Lynda Barry:
The two questions [i.e., Is this good? Does this suck?] came from trying to write something good and not getting very far because I had forgotten that trying to write something good before I write anything at all is like refusing to give birth unless you know for sure it is going to be a very good baby.
What struck me about this is that being either good or sucking is not really a part of the creative process. Yet somehow, we let these two questions drive our ability to create. We either create, or we don’t. We do, or we don’t. For some of us, creating is something we need to do. It’s the same as eating, sometimes even breathing. But we don’t say to ourselves, am I good at eating? What if I suck at eating? And we certainly don’t let the answers to those questions (should we even ask them) stop us from eating. We might not be hungry all the time, nor will we like everything we eat or like the way food makes us feel when we eat something naughty (oh, and I do love you, bacon egg and cheese McGriddle). But at some point, we have to eat.
If I accept the fact that I have to eat, I can come to the conclusion that just by eating, I am a good eater. And in the same way, just by creating something, I am a successful creator. Whether it sucks or not is irrelevant.
Generally, it’s not the lack of ideas that get it my way, it’s that nasty little voice in the back of my head telling me that the ideas that I have suck, so I should just not waste my time by writing them down. And in that respect, my ideas are dismissed, shot down, disregarded as soon as they come so that it feels like I don’t have any ideas, or at least no good ones. Please remind me to read this post next time I get writer’s block, m’kay? Or better yet, do YOU have a way to overcome writer’s block? Please share it with me in a comment!
Related post: In the Presence of Greatness at Comic-Con
Did you ever notice that just before your alarm goes off at 3:15 in the morning
your sleepy mind expects so much silence
that you’re afraid you’ll fall back to sleep?
Maybe you need to catch an early flight out or
maybe your dad was coming to get you out of bed and hit the road early for the trip
you were taking when you were so little.
But as you lay awake you think (or remember):
there are no birds chirping, there is no wind blowing, there is no coffee brewing.
When you should be alone in your wakefulness you are most certainly not,
because the traffic in the distance is accompanied
by the train you never hear, roaring.
Do the other people awake at 3:15 in the morning hear it too?
Who are they, the people driving trucks and trains in their own starlit silence?
But there is no silence, not really.
There are only sounds, invisible during the day, but solid enough to reflect moonlight
in the wee hours of the morning.
About this poem. I almost never write poetry. However, I wrote most of this poem in my head last Thursday when I was getting ready to pull myself out of bed at 3:30 am to catch a flight to Arizona. The sounds in the distance – freeway traffic and a distant train – brought me immediately back to car trips I took with my dad and family that almost always started early in the morning. He would come in and wake me up, and sometimes I would be allowed to stay in my PJs while he drove down the near-empty roads. The sounds were always the same – so quiet, but so constant. Thank you, Weekly Writing Challenge, for giving me the opportunity to solidify my groggy thoughts on the Sound of Silence.