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Wednesday, October 7, 2015

Wading through Molasses - IWSG October 2015



This is my October contribution to Alex Cavanaugh's Insecure Writers' Support Group.  There’s a lot going on with IWSG this month.  To read other participants, click here.  Also, The IWSG Anthology Contest is open until November 1. For details, click here.  Last but not least, be sure to check in with this month's co-hosts:

Stephanie Faris     

I'm going to be dead honest.  Writing has felt like slogging through cold syrup for me lately and I have to force myself to sit down.  If I get 200 words written, it’s a victory.  If I get 500 words, I’m ecstatic. Monday blog posts roll around and I don’t know what to write.  Even as I type this post, I’m trying to formulate words, something inspiring, something to help those who read it.  But I don’t have anything.  No caveats, not even a platitude.  Pretty much dead air.

To give myself a jumping off point, I opened Stephen King’s, On Writing, and read a descriptive paragraph about his childhood tonsillitis. Didn’t help.  I paged through Writingdown the Bones, by Natalie Goldberg.  That book delivered creative prompts back when I was a unemployed, newbie writer scribbling from my seat in a downtown bakery.  It didn’t work with this.  Next, I glanced through Write to be Published, by Nicola Morgan, and Writing the Breakout Novel, by Donald Maas. All these books stirred me at one time or another, but for the moment, it all seemed like a lot of bla, bla, bla. 

Finally, I opened Walking in this World, by Julia Cameron, and found this quote by Publilius Syrus. 

“It takes a long time to bring excellence to maturity.” 

It reminded me.  The path is long, and sometimes it does feel like slurping barefoot through a mud bog.  But, success is about wanting excellence bad enough to take the time required to cultivate it.

I might be a hundred by the time I get there, but God help me.  I'll keep slogging.

19 comments:

Jan Morrison said...

Yes! We must abide, like a marriage,through thick and thin.

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Keep slogging! It does take a long time which is frustrating. But you can endure.
And rather than a writing book, why not open one you just plain enjoyed? Maybe that joy will spill onto you.

Melissa Barker-Simpson said...

It happens to me quite regularly, I have to admit, and seems to coincide with my mood. The terrible thing is, like you, I try everything to drum up some enthusiasm, to spark the inspiration and motivate myself, but at times - nothing. Nada. Zip. Just like you said, I have to keep slogging and, luckily, I know I'll come out the other side! :-D p.s. loved that 'slurping barefoot through a mud bog'

Gail said...

This group gives much to those who struggle.

I write. I am insecure. I don't even know where to begin to write a book. Shorts and poems seem to be the best I can do and on some days they are not the best after all.

Thanks.

Sarah Foster said...

I feel exactly the same way! Just getting out a few words is a struggle. Hopefully it gets easier soon--we just have to keep trying!

Madeline Mora-Summonte said...

Love this - "But, success is about wanting excellence bad enough to take the time required to cultivate it."

Take it a little easier on yourself - stay open to creativity and possibility in all its forms (like your wonderful photos!) The words will come. :)

TBM said...

It can be painful, slow, and agonizing, but slogging on does help.

Karen Walker said...

Oh how this post spoke to me. My debut novel is coming out the end of this month. It took six years to write. I'm turning 67 on my next birthday. I kept thinking "I have to finish before I die." But now I know, things take as long as they take and I can't force it. Must keep slogging. Thank you!

Sylvia Ney said...

So many of us seem to be in a slump lately. Thank you for sharing Cameron's quote, and best of luck in your own success!

Susan Gourley/Kelley said...

Sometimes I feel just like that. I get stuck and have to walk away for a while.

Susan Says

Southpaw HR Sinclair said...

Just keep your boots on while you slog! Fall usually brings inspiration, hopefully that will help (it hasn't worked for me yet, but soon I'm sure it will.) :)

Joanne said...

slogging is okay. You've just had a lot on your plate. It's all simmering in your brain and will flow when ready. Glad you posted this blog. I'm a bit in the same boat coming up with ideas right now. No worries.

Ryan Carty said...

And no one ever said the path was a straight one, or clear of obstacles. I admire your pushing forward through the syrup. I wish you success.

Carol Kilgore said...

The building of a great writer is long and hard. Most of us are still under construction. Enjoy this time of waiting for the concrete to cure before moving forward.

Julie Flanders said...

I've felt this exact same way lately about both writing and blogging - feels like I am struggling just to write one sentence. I will keep on slogging with you!

Shannon Lawrence said...

I've had periods like this. In fact, I'm still working my way out of one, though I think I'm nearing the end of it. I hope you pull out of the slump and it's no longer slogging.

Michael Di Gesu said...

Good for you, Liza! That's all any of us can do. I've been reading so much about these feelings lately from many authors, and it just gets to the point where we become TIRED. Especially those of us in our middle years and have been fighting for decades.... I know I'm tired. I have been saying this almost twenty time a day. And I am usually NEVER tired.

I am so hoping that I can write something for the IWSG anthology. But with rehabbing a loft, moving AGAIN, and keeping up with my design work, there is so little time to write. But how I miss it.

Remember to carry a water bottle with you on those 'Muddy" days, that way you can wash some of it away and tread on more solid ground.

Have a lovely weekend. The sun is shining and there's a crisp autumn breeze... Another season is upon us....

Nick Wilford said...

Just keep putting one foot in front of the other, no matter how difficult that is in a bog. I've felt a lot like this recently. Get this, all year I've been needing to write the final book of my trilogy - now it's October and I've got nothing. Now, starting it before the end of the year is the goal! Progress is progress, however small it seems.

Kittie Howard said...

An insecure person doesn't slog barefoot through syrup! You've got what it takes, girl!!!