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In the Loop

Photo by Re' Harris

Photo by Re’ Harris

The lack of response to yesterday’s post (and its only one view) fills me with angst. Shaking off that feeling, of not understanding or really knowing anything, is quite a job. If life is going to feel that hard, I’d rather be writing. I think.

The imaginary commenter in my mind says: Of course I’d rather be thrilled by a piece of writing! How can you not know that? If you have a talent for words, why would you bore me with a faithful recounting of some wretched person’s experience? I don’t care if you part the clouds a bit in the end, it doesn’t fill my main requirement for spending precious time: Show me something new. Not new because you just thought of it — but new. Figure it out!

My imaginary commenter is very outspoken, often cruel. She ignores praise and isn’t necessarily honest. She’s borne of pure emotion, the kind with the power to obfuscate facts so there’s no way for me to judge her veracity. Still, there’s the chance that what she’s telling me is right.

She also tells me to stop writing if I don’t enjoy the act of doing it as an end in itself. Everything about that scares me. That’s where my questions come from — fear — which implies neediness, which drives away comfort, which breeds… you know. I’m in this loop, wondering if I should just stop. Anyone else there, too?

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15 thoughts on “In the Loop

  1. Hi! The first thing I would say is to never worry about number of post views any more. The count doesn’t seem to be accurate any more, in the last couple years. I have to click at least twice on any blogpost in my “followed blogs” feed, to get to the actual blog, and can often read most or all of the post without actually going to the person’s blog. I blame it on the fact that the entire world is now structured toward gearing everything to favor smart phone access.
    As for fiction, I lean a bit toward flashy, but not like with endless car crashes and such. It’s just that too much introspection can cause readers’ minds to wander. But you have to write what you feel. If you feel deeply, it comes across well. The only thing that really bugs me about fiction is when the author does too much “maybe he or she did this because of this reason, or maybe they were thinking this, or maybe that.” I always want to say “You’re the author; don’t you know what your characters are thinking?!?”
    I go a long time between writing because I doubt my skills, or because I don’t want to show that I maybe have some, or because, well, who knows why?

    • Thanks for talking to me tonight. I needed that. Really needed it.

      I don’t like those ‘maybe’ conversations much either. I’ve got to the point where if an author wants to say something (my own writing included here), they need to do it without using tired devices or I’m going to cringe.

      I like your writing. Most of us could use some editing, maybe another pair of eyes that aren’t bleary with already knowing exactly what we mean and so not noticing a million (okay, a few) missteps. But I like the way you turn a phrase. Thanks again.

  2. Hey Sparks,

    It has been ages since I’ve stopped by. It has been ages since I’ve written a blog post myself. The constant yearning for response, reaction, acknowledgment started getting to me. The exhaustive cycle of reading every post people wrote, just to keep up, became overwhelming. I struggled with the “why” of writing, as more and more people kept pouring words into the universe, and those words seemed to have less and less meaning in some ways

    Still, I have been following people, and when a post calls to me I will read. That doesn’t mean anything about the other posts that I might not have read, more about what catches my attention, what stands out from the zillions of emails I get any morning, and what whispers into my ear this is what you need to read right now.

    I needed this post right now, because I understand. In some ways I’ve lost the joy of writing just to get the words on the page. In many ways life and reality have intruded on my ability to create. But, without the writing, without the creating, my life feels empty. Does yours? If it does, then that is the spark that should keep you going. Write from your heart. Write from your truth. I don’t know if you should worry about flashy vs.introspective, as long as you write the story you need to tell. Your power over words has always been amazing, revel in that and don’t worry about the number of hits on a post. Those are just figments.

    Rambly rant over.

    • My life feels empty without the creating, too. I spent a lot of time around Christmastime knitting gifts (out of necessity) but all the time, I wanted to attempt another Christmas story for the blog. It’s hard for me to realize that writing’s my thing when the biggest life problems I have revolve around money, and writers are told that even if they’ve written something good, they shouldn’t expect to feed or house themselves with payment from that hard work, not even if they’ve been annointed by a publisher. Words are everywhere. I look around my room at stacks of books and magazines, and the television (moving pictures are nothing without the words) and wonder who’s making the money. I wish I could work at something I could get a paycheck for, but I’ve memorialized my insufficiencies as a job applicant here before.

      Life and reality have intruded on my writing, too. I want so much to write and to write here, but I need connection and like you, find myself having that constant yearning for response, reaction, and acknowledgment. Keeping up with my blogs and connections with people on theirs was like a job in itself. I enjoyed it mostly, but it was so much work that when life got harder, I just stopped. I understand why my posts might not be read. It’s actually that understanding and guilt that makes me feel angsty.

      Thanks for stopping by this time and for the kind words. I’m feeling a bit better about things today. I hope you are, too. Best of luck with it all. ❤

  3. Does your imaginary commenter have a twin? Cos she sounds a lot like my imaginary commenter 😛
    I guess my two-bit would be the same as your reaction to my ‘to talk or not to talk’ debate. You say I should talk. I say you should write 🙂
    p.s. I love the new look of your blog, it is so beautiful and inviting 🙂

    • We have to stop listening to them, don’t we?

      I’m glad you noticed the new look. It feels more like me, so it’s good to hear “beautiful and inviting.” 🙂 It’s amazing what you can do for free on WordPress these days.

  4. The inner critic and those sly words that the critic whispers will, I fear, always be with us. I think it’s learning to pull out what we need and let go of what pulls us down. For your dilemma about writing or not writing, could you quit? Honestly? I think of the times life has forced you away from words, and how you always find your way back to something that’s a part of who you are. Maybe the form of writing has to change periodically as you move through life, but the words will always be there.

    • Thanks for the words of wisdom, Lisa. I think you’re right. Writing is a part of who I am and, right now, its about somehow sending those words out into the world. I’ve just got to learn how to deal with the emotion that brings up inside me.

    • The thing is, I don’t enjoy the hard work of writing. When I hear people say that they do, I don’t quite understand it, but I wish I felt that way, too. It’s not a hobby for me, like knitting which I enjoy sometimes. I’ve felt driven to write since before I could speak. Writing is complicated for me.

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