Lately I haven't wanted to do anything but sleep. My bedside table riddled with unread books, pens in disarray, and a notebook that hasn't been touched in months. I haven't felt compelled to sit in front of a computer and type, or pick up a pen and scribble endlessly. I haven't felt the want or desire to get out and enjoy the outside world. The long stretch of no sun that plagued Chicago left me void of creative wants/needs, however, it may be more than that. Unmotivated, would accurately describe how I feel. Without inspiration, devoid of the want to create. Well, not completely, but for the most part I have zero desire. I keep telling myself that I will find the motivation to get things going. To get the writing ball rolling, and to find some peace of mind through the creative expression this winter has lacked so very much.
I saw a snippet the other day on Facebook, an interview in which a woman explained her stance on motivation being a heap of fried bologna. That waiting until you feel like doing something, or waiting until you have “motivation” is what is keeping you from actually moving forward. I sat, eyes glued to my phone, and really took it in. She was right on so many levels. Take writing for example: I have been writing for as long as I could spell. But lately I just haven’t wanted to. I blamed it on lack of motivation, my brain lacking the push to get me to do something about the nonexistence of words on a page. When in reality, not writing through the rut, not making myself write, and waiting is what has prolonged the writing process in the first place. I used to write all the time. Most of it was nonsense, and a lot of it didn’t really stand as substance, but there were words flowing. Things seemed right in the world then, and my brain seemed less messy. I got lost in wanting to be this profound writer, this person that makes a difference, that I drove right down perfectionist road and ended up hitting a dead end. So here I sit, at a dead end learning to reverse. Learning that not everything I write needs to be this perfect piece of prose. That not writing is driving me insane, and I feel like I am swiftly losing the person I recognize to be myself.
A close person to me voiced an opinion the other day about my writing. He said “you’ve always written for you, and the moment you stopped writing for you is the moment you stopped writing.” And my goodness that hit home. From a young age, I've used writing as one would use playing a musical instrument or singing: as an escape. I used it as a means to process. I used as a means of survival. I knew I wanted to do something “profound” with it eventually, like publish a novel, or write for a magazine, and that is why I got a degree in it. But I am beginning to realize that maybe it was the act of making a career out of my escape that made it a chore. That made it no longer an escape. I don’t want to write because I feel like I have to write. It’s like getting up to do the dishes and your parent approaches you to tell you to do the same thing. You were already en route but now you want to do it less because instead of feeling like you wanted to, you feel like you have to. Making writing a career, trying to make something of myself creatively has turned into doing the dishes.
I want to want to do the dishes again.