Am I fresh out of ideas?

I’ve hit a wall – with reading, with writing, with submitting. In fact, you may go so far as to say that I’ve hit a wall with any sort of thinking at all.

2012 began with such promise and, to be fair, it hasn’t done anything contrary to that promise. But I feel helpless, somehow, like I’m not doing the things that I want to be doing. There’s a torrent of things waiting to be done, and to continue with the wall analogy, rather than dealing with them sensibly and one at a time, I’m staring at them, all piled up in front of me, and starting to quietly freak out. Will I finish this piece in time? Will it be any good? Should I have sent off a pitch to that magazine last week? Should my reviews be longer, shorter, quirkier? Is my writing voice good enough?

No doubt other writers (and other humans) will be familiar with these waves of self doubt. You know, and I know that they’re not always rational. We even say it out loud “I know I’m being silly, but…” It’s as though nothing I do is ever enough. Not for anyone else, but for me. Everything I finish is something else that’s not getting done. I’ve always been afraid putting my writing out there, because it’s always been my little bean of hope. The thing, that if all else fails, that has seen me through a solo (and sometimes lonely) childhood, an often trying adolescence and into adulthood. It’s the place where I don’t feel awkward, or stilted, or shy. But like any artist, once I actually put it out there people can dislike it, or they can say it’s no good. Or worse, it might never get out there to begin with.

I’m drawn to shiny new ideas like a moth to a flame. Partly because they’re new and I want to follow them, to see where they go. But if I’m being honest with myself I know that part of it is also because working on something new means that I don’t have to commit to finishing something else. That I don’t have to write that last word, hit send and say “There. It’s done. Like it if you will.”

Faber tonight, and hopefully a more uplifting post to follow.


3 thoughts on “Am I fresh out of ideas?

  1. Hi,
    Oh, I know that feeling well! And yes, some people might not like your writing, but no doubt others will. You can’t please everyone all of the time, but I think there is a great sense of achievement when you go finally launch something out on to the world. 🙂

  2. After a two-month-long streak of not being able to write, I sat down and made the promise to myself that I would write every day for a month (just a few words a day, 250 to start) and blog about it. Honestly, it’s what got me back into writing and now I’ve been going for over two months with the new goal of a year. Just getting something down helps–you can always go back and edit.

  3. Oh, Bec, I so empathise! I’ve been starting a few new projects lately, mostly because nothing I already have on the go is that appealing when contrasted with ‘shiny new things’.

    My best advice for finishing writing projects is a trick I used all through uni. I’d imagine my Dad waiting to read the finished product, and tell me how great it is. He is super supportive, and would always be positive about our school work, so that was generally the push I needed to get it written and submitted.

    Have fun at Faber tonight, and good luck with the To Do list.

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