Stasis

I’ve been thinking about this a bit over the weekend. Ā A friend made a comment a few days ago about not letting her writing just waste away as it sits there on her computer.

And you know, I never really thought about it that way before and that bothers me. I think I take my writing for granted and maybe we all do in some way or another.

I have several folders tucked away on my computer full of poetry and story starts, ideas, thoughts, blurbs, essays, etc… And there they sit. And sit. And sit as if they were in some sort of stasis. They don’t grow or evolve. They are just a bunch of unfinished thoughts that I have left in a suspended animation of sorts – a wasteland of words unless I finally deem them worthy of my attention. Until then they don’t see the light of day.

Then I ask myself what on earth am I writing for? Why write if I am only going to hide those words and do nothing with them? In a way it is like buying a beautiful painting and then putting it in storage rather than hanging it up on the wall so you can enjoy it.

Some of my writing will not see the light of day and for good reason. It is for me and only me. Much of my poetry is that way and I think I wrote about this before. Some of my poetry I don’t mind putting out there. But then there are ones that come from a well of anger built up inside me. Much of that pertains to my relationship or lack thereof, with my father. It is how I dealt with that anger and sadness over certain things he did. I’m not sure how that would be perceived by “the masses” if I were to ever put it out there. I don’t know that I am that comfortable revealing that much of my inner core.

So then I ask the question, am I not being honest as a writer? If I can’t expose certain aspects of myself, will the reader sense that in my other writing? Maybe I’m thinking about this too much.

My other writing – my stories – are stories I started but have not finished. Oh there are so many of them. I keep letting things (namely me and my self-doubt/insecurities) get in the way and so they sit there in their stasis. For how long? I have no idea. Hopefully not long. I’m not saying any of those stories have potential. Perhaps none of them. But who knows unless they are given a chance to breathe and take on a life of their own?

The one main novel I have been working on for the last six years has been placed on hiatus for now until I can wrap my mind around what I actually want to do with it. I miss the characters though and I think of them often. What are they doing and why am I leaving them behind? I feel guilt over my neglect – like I’ve abandoned them. But I do know it isn’t their time yet. At least I keep telling myself that.

At some point I do realize I need to put myself out there and actually finish something, submit it and hope for the best. It’s not like I haven’t ever tried. I have. I just haven’t tried enough. And that is something that has to change. I have to take myself out of this self-imposed stasis and activate my writing. And then, maybe then I’ll be able to bring those stories to life as well. I owe them that.

0 thoughts on “Stasis

  1. I think that you may be too hard on yourself. Writing should be, first & foremost, a catharsis. It’s an expression of you. Sometimes things go unfinished. That’s not something that makes you a good or bad writer. I would bet that every single person that considers themself a writer has the same thing…folders or bits of starts & stops.

    When it’s time, you’ll go back to them. Or, you won’t. View it as the gift that it is…a way to express something that you needed to get out. If it doesn’t reach others, that’s okay.

  2. Thanks Brandee. šŸ™‚ I don’t think I am being too hard on myself, just introspective about the work I have sitting there unfinished. I don’t think leaving things sit makes someone bad or good or really anything. It pushes me to do something about it. I didn’t mean for this to be a downer post. I actually liked it and the thought about getting out of stasis. šŸ˜›

  3. I think we’re scared of what it will mean if we put ourselves and our writing out there. I know I certainly struggle with the thought that something I have poured myself into could be rejected by those who decide whether it is good enough for publication. Like Brandee said, we’re too hard on ourselves. Everything we begin isn’t meant to be finished. But some things, need to be. We must press on šŸ™‚

  4. I think this is a great post, and it reminds me of many articles I’ve read over the years about the “best” stories (novels, shorts, poetry, etc) being those that are motivated by deep, deep, personal emotion. So maybe some day you will feel comfortable enough to share those words about your dad. You may find it freeing at that point, and your readers may find great authenticity in the voice that those words bring to life. But you’ll know when – or IF – you’re ready. No rush. No pressure. Writing is, first and foremost, all about you and your own schedule. Good luck!

  5. I think you don’t necessarily have to write about your dad to use those emotions creatively. That can be a very authentic experience without getting overly autobiographical. I write about things that I may not have experienced, but I can tell the emotions are true. I think the same will happen for you as you practice. That’s the best word for it, practice. It’s just like everything else you get slowly better at while you do it.

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