Saturday, June 22, 2013

The Chopping Block. . .

A writer's worse enemy is that old writer's block.  There's nothing more sinister and calculating that can inflict such anguish to a writer.  But you really want to know what truly is the travesty of the writer's block curse~~having something to say, but not sure how to get it out of yourself.
Yep, I should know having gone through this and still in that horrible slump.  What causes this to happen are a multitude of things.  First and foremost, when you're not right in the mind, you cannot create.  It's that simple.  When your mind is not at its healthiest, nothing creative is going to flow through you.  And factor in when you've lost your passion for the very thing that makes life worth living~~well. . .you've got a recipe for disaster.
Umm, as I scratch my very head thinking on how I got myself in this creative standstill is beyond me, but I know eventually it will go away and I'll have so much to say my fingers won't be able to keep up with my thoughts~~or so I hope.  I do love the written word tremendously, it's just that I don't love the process of writing anymore.  Somewhere along the way, I got a bitter taste in my mouth from all the bad books I see being written; how many wannabe authors there are out there, and the hustle and bustle of marketing and promoting yourself, it got to be way too much. 
I know, I know the saying in order to get something you've never had, you've got to do something you've never done.  Well, that saying doesn't apply to me because I've been there and done that, and I'm still at the same point as I started out four years ago.  Well, that's not totally true, I have progressed, but not in the way I know I should have.  Trust me, I don't fault anyone for this but myself.  I have just gotten to that point in my life where I don't feel like pushing much anymore.  My grind has come to a screeching halt and I'm just tired of the same ol' same ole bullshit that happens in the writing industry.
Anyone who thinks writing is easy isn't a true writer.  The best of the best of us will tell you this is a process that takes time, energy, and much stamina.  If you don't have what it takes, you aren't going to make it!  I don't care how many courses you take or how many self-help books you read, or advice you hear from well-known authors, the fact of the matter is writing is hard and if you don't do it literally everyday, it's not a forgiving talent~~it will cut you loose and leave you hanging, only to wonder what the hell went wrong and where.  Nothing can prepare you for the writing experience, until you actually do it!
Am I saying I'm giving up writing~~absolutely not!  I'm just not pushing myself like I used to do.  And even when my novel is complete, I'm probably still not going to push like I once had.  I'm just plain old tired.  That get up and go has got up and went so long ago and actually I'm not saddened by that.  Perhaps when my creativity returns, I'll feel differently than I do now, but until then, I'm sitting back, enjoying other author's work and just living my life to the fullest.  I know dreams come true because mine certainly did.  I couldn't be more thankful for the way my dream came to fruition, but for right now, not feeling it.  I'm in a place mentally where I just don't feel like being that damn creative.  I don't want to deal with the process.  Hopefully, one day soon, that will change, but you know something, if it doesn't, then it doesn't.
I know many Toni Braxton fans were really shocked when she said she did not want to sing and make music anymore.  Pretty much retired from the business.  I completely understood what she was saying and I completely get where her heart is at.  I'm in that same mode.  Sometimes the very thing you strive so hard to get to, ends up being the very thing you dislike in the long run, because your talent and passion ceases to be fun anymore.  Maybe you don't understand what I mean, but I get it.  I believe Toni gets it too.  Does it mean she's never going to sing again, no, but is she trying to kill herself in the music industry to get another album out, no she's not.  That's exactly what I'm saying.
I am not finding the joy in the writing.  It's all the other things that come with my talent that I absolutely one hundred percent hate.  Unfortunately, you can't be in the music or writing industries without the business side of things, and that's the side I truly hate.  Promoting and marketing is a beast!  Even when you have management to assist you, it's still hard to keep up that maddening pace.  I so feel Toni Braxton, I really do.  The very thing she hates about her business, is exactly what I hate about mine.  It just becomes too damn much and the failure, which sometimes happens as well, is just hard to bear.  That mentally crushes a talented person's spirits, and therefore, you're not in a place to be creative. 
I'm not one that believes in taking my negative energy and spewing it out into the universe.  For I believe what you put out is exactly what you get in return, and I don't want what I feel to come back to me, so therefore, I refuse to put out any work that is going to reflect where I am mentally now.  That's not fair to me, my fans or anyone, and besides, who the hell is that really helping?  So, like Toni, I've channeled my energies elsewhere, and slowly but surely, I'm getting back to what I enjoy, little by little, step by step, but I will not be rushed.  I will not allow anyone to push me and make me do anything until I'm ready to embark on that journey again. 
So while I sit back and wait for whatever may come, I keep it moving by helping other artists promote themselves.  I don't mind being that cheerleader for the independent author.  I know how hard it is to keep that grind up, and I'm happy to see so many of my fellow comrades doing their thing and making it happen.  I don't reside in hater-nation, as many people do.  It truly makes me feel good when I see other authors getting their just due and doing what they love and feeling that love in return.  It makes me smile.  I couldn't be happier for them.  One day, I'll get back to that, and I'll be just fine.  And, like I said, I'm fine now.  Not upset about anything, and I'm not even mad at myself for my creative juices having dried up, but I know they will rehydrate eventually, they always do.  Hell, I write this weekly blog, so that keeps my writing in the game. 
I felt I needed to write this post to you authors out there that may be feeling the same as I do.  I want you to know that it's ok to get like this sometimes.  Writers are very moody people and it's perfectly fine to feel this way.  Don't let anyone steer you in the wrong direction.  You know yourself well enough that you can get through it, and you must hold on to that faith.  You may have lost your way a little, but you always find your way back, and it's going to be alright.
That damn chopping block is one hell of a monster, but trust and believe, once you bounce back, you can chop that block up into million of pieces and laugh at the sawdust left behind.  It's perfectly fine to be a little mentally challenged, it happens to every writer at some point and time.  Just know that this is temporary, and it will eventually move on.  When your passion comes back, BAM, you'll be off and writing again.
Until next time, don't be so hard on yourself.  Writer's block happens to real writers~~it's a part of the process.
Kimberly Ranee Hicks, Author/Poet
It's Going to Be All Write!  :-)