Writing

Breaking Through

I promised myself that “The Year of the Wedding” would also be “The Year of the Manuscript Submissions.” Wedding planning would not be allowed to entirely eclipse the writing. That dusty list of potential publishers would receive submissions from me this year. Alas, it turns out I’m as typical as any excited bride. I look at my to-do list and have the hardest time choosing any of the tasks that don’t have to do with the wedding. Rationalizing it isn’t that difficult… These eleven months are the only eleven months, God willing, that I will experience planning a wedding. My writing projects will be waiting for me on October 21st! But will I continue to ignore them long past the day after the wedding? That is the question that nags me. The longer I put off the discipline of writing, the greater difficulty I will have returning to it. I’m certain of that much. The struggle I experience when creating a bit of written work is already causing me anxiety. I’ve made meager attempts to return to blogging before this month. It took me this long to get past staring at the blank text box and hitting cancel after a few minutes. My most recent parish newsletter articles have been weak and piecemeal at best.

The neglect and difficulty involved in writing in recent months is not only a worry, it is a disappointment. I miss it. I miss being a writer. Rarely have I liked myself more, been prouder of myself, been as encouraged by life, as when I am actively living as a writer. I am well and happily occupied with other things and so the missing isn’t felt until I have a slowed down hour or two of stillness. Then it comes and I remember all the hours of satisfying effort I used to enjoy on a regular basis.

Today I came across a quote that sums up my state as a writer quite well. “A creative block is the wall we erect to ward off the anxiety we suppose we’ll experience if we sit down to work” (Eric Maisel). I have reached the point of being afraid to try very hard again, fearful I will disappoint myself even more by not being able to write well again. That would indeed be a deeper disappointment than continuing to not try. This recent return to blogging is a step, at least; an inching movement forward.

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