Sunday, July 17, 2011

On Being Driven to Write

by Jeffe Kennedy

What happens when I don't write?

I get depressed.

Wow - this week's topic was super easy. You all have a great week!

Okay, okay. I'll elaborate. But it really does boil down to that for me. If you've been reading my personal blog for any length of time, then you'll know that I periodically trot out this quote from Mark Rutherford:

"There is in each of us an upswelling spring of life, energy, love, whatever you like to call it. If a course is not cut for it, it turns the ground around it into a swamp."
This perfectly sums up the feeling for me. There are times when I've let the writing slide. In the dark days before I figured out that's what I really wanted to be doing with my life. Since then, when I thought I was "too busy." Even sometimes on vacation, after a few days of deliberately not writing. The bogginess starts to accumulate. I'll feel both restless and blue. It's like a barely perceived stench, of stagnation and rot, that gradually grows stronger until I wonder what the hell my problem is.

Oh yeah.

Not writing.

I don't know how many times I've rediscovered this about myself. A day or a few without writing can be a lovely break. Then I cross this boundary where, like low tide, my internal critters begin to dry out and die. Fortunately they seem quite resilient. A wave of fresh brine rejuvenates them and brings them back to fluorescent life.

Even better, writing seems to beget writing. So the more I do it, the easier it is. This is another thing I have to relearn, every time I "take a break" or get hopelessly sucked into the dayjob. Getting back into the groove can be painful, full of irrational resistance. Only all that accumulated swampiness around me drives me to keep going then.

But when I've cut course and all that upwelling in me is roaring along it, pure and clean?

There's no better feeling in the world.


  1. Well said. And oh so true. When it comes time for my post, all I need to do is link back to yours, lol.

  2. LOL - that would be funny to do. "What she said."

  3. Inertia is a powerful force. Once stopped, it can really be difficult to start writing again. The interruption in flow is odd.

  4. Maybe that's what happened. I took a break after my I finished my 2010 NaNo novel in February and I haven't been able to write new words since. I'm hoping working on edits shakes something new loose.

    Umm, should I take it as a sign that my captcha word was 'yerwarm'?

  5. I know the feeling. I'm not always writing, but I have to think up stories in my head and play around with them. When I can't think of a story idea and my head is empty I'm depressed.

  6. It IS a sign, BE!!

    Laura, I so agree on inertia.

    That's it exactly, Sullivan's owner (because I know Sullivan is a simple pig with no angst). If I'm actively brewing up a story, it satisfies the same need.

  7. I want to comment, but then I'd be giving away my suffice it to say, I support you Jeffe!

  8. lol - I love how the Word Whores are all now withholding comment, in favor of keeping the fire for their own posts. Looking forward to reading it, Linda!