Monday, November 23, 2015

Are you still a writer when you don't write?

A Post By Jonathan 

"A writer who doesn't write is like a monster courting insanity" - Franz Kafka.

Okay, time for some major self-disclosure. I am not a writer. At least not lately.

I haven't written a word (except for my blog posts here at Across The Board) for nearly a year. This probably isn't something you'd expect to hear on a writing blog --and I hope it doesn't get me kicked out of the club!-- but it's the truth. I'm not proud of this fact. Sure, I may have some excuses: a new born baby who never seems to get healthy, a full-time job that wears me out. But if I were really a writer wouldn't I be compelled to write? Wouldn't I make the time?

These are the thoughts that plague me on a daily basis, especially during November. I imagine NaNoWriMo is pretty damn hard for those competing, but I think it's also hard for those writers who want to participate, but would find it nearly impossible to find the time to write 2,000 words a day during a single month. I'd be lucky to write 2,000 words in a month right now. There was a time when I would write 1,000 words a day come hell or high water, but in my current season of life all I can do is dream about getting some of that discipline, that energy, that passion back.

I'm guessing, or at least I really hope, that I am not the only person who has taken an unplanned hiatus from writing. So what do people like me do during these times? Can I still call myself a writer when there are thousands of people out there killing it on a daily basis? Part of me doesn't feel right doing so, but another part of me knows that I have been there too. I have been the one burning the midnight oil. I have been the writer.

So are you still a writer when you don't write? I guess I am the only one who can answer that question. And I guess it really depends on whether I can get back to it or end up giving up completely (which I won't!). Thanks for listening!

P.S. I'm secretly hoping that NaNoWriMo keeps most of you so busy that you don't get around to reading this...    



Kimberly G. Giarratano said...

Yes, you are a writer even if you're not currently writing. Also, you wrote a manuscript. You finished what the majority of wannabe writers never accomplish. It's tough when you have a baby. Give yourself permission to slack off. No one ever said, "I regret not focusing on my writing when I had a baby." Most people regret not focusing on the baby.

Stephen Kozeniewski said...

IMHO, this post proves you haven't lost your mojo. It was honest and heartfelt and cuts to a problem that all of us (yes, all of us) feel from time to time. There's writer's block and then there's having a life. You need to have your life. The blank page will always be there. Babies don't keep.

Brenda St John Brown said...

That old Queen song, "Under Pressure", came to mind as soon as I read your post. (And sorry, sort of, if now you have it stuck in your head like I do.) I agree with Kimberly and Stephen -- life is a heck of a lot more important than words on a page. And the words will still be there when you're ready. It's kind of like riding a bike, I think. You might feel a little rusty when you truly dive back in, but once you've put down a few pages, the words do start flowing again. I regularly take "off" every summer from writing so I can spend time with my son. He's 10 and soon he won't want to hang out with me, so I'm going to make sure I appreciate it now. Plus, I'll have plenty of time to write when I'm sitting up until all hours waiting for him to get home. :)

Debra Renée Byrd said...

My sister tweeted me a quote from Sister Act 2, and now I can't remember why. lol "If you wake up in the morning and the first thing you think about is singing, you're a singer, girl."

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