Letting it Out

9 Apr

photo (28)You may have noticed that I haven’t been posting on my blog as much as I have in the past, which I sincerely hope you don’t think is a good thing because that would be a definite blow to my already fragile ego.

I remember when I first starting blogging, I was so in the writing zone—I would post something every few days—my brain was constantly popping with ideas. After a while the posts went down to once a week, twice a month, and then finally whittling down to once a month if at all. You get the picture.

There are several reasons I’m not posting as often. Primarily, it’s because I’m spending what little time I can carve out of my busy day to work on my novel—which, I’ve just begun to realize, is going to take way longer than I thought. I’m up to twenty eight chapters with no end in sight. I never would have thought that writing a novel would consume me so deeply. It’s a very strange process where I feel like my characters are these horrible, rebellious little people stuck in my brain, fighting with all of their might to come out while gleefully taking me down in the process. I hate them at times but mostly I love them.

I’ve also stopped blogging as much because the truth is that I’ve begun to bore myself by writing about the same topics over and over. God knows that if I’m boring myself, I can only imagine how you feel. I can even hear your voices in my head: Please stop making me cry with sad stories of kids with cancer, or For god’s sake, stop going on and on about how happy you are now that you’ve hit fifty and I swear if you post one more picture of your flower garden I will come over and personally drive my car right over your flower beds. I know, right? Sorry. Even as I write this, I’m realizing that these words sound strangely familiar which means I’ve  probably already written this exact post somewhere in the not too distant past. I’d go back and read through the archives to find it, but I’m way too tired to check.

The writing process is often agonizing. Lately I find myself trapped in these moods where nothing is ever right and all I do is moan and groan and complain and try to blame it on my husband or my kids or on the hormone situation (another topic beaten to death) and then I realize that I’m most likely grumpy because I need to let something out and the way I do that is by writing and sharing it with others. Through the act of writing I feel alive and connected with the outside world and even if it’s just a photo on Instagram, a line or two on Facebook (or Twitter, which I’m only now getting the hang of) or an essay on my blog, I feel more alive after hitting  the “publish” or “share” button. If just writing a post on my blog makes me feel so satisfied, I can only imagine the high of publishing an actual novel, so I’m going to keep at it no matter how long it takes.

Talk about good timing. Yesterday, writer Elizabeth Gilbert posted this on her Facebook page and it totally resonated with me. Here is an excerpt:

I am a writer. If I have a story in me that I’m not able to tell, things will start going wrong all over my life. If I have a story in my head and I tell it, “I’ll get to you in 2015,” that story will start to rebel, start to act out, start to claw at the walls. That’s when the shit gets dark in my world. 

Because having a creative mind is something like owning a Border terrier; it needs a job.  And if you don’t give it a job, it will INVENT a job (which will involve tearing something up.) Which why I have learned over the years that if I am not actively creating something, chances are I am about to start actively destroying something. 

And that ain’t good.

I believe that readers don’t need good writers, although that’s always a plus. The truth is it’s the writers who need good readers. Someone  probably already wrote that somewhere and I should find out who it is and give them their due credit, but I’m way too tired to check.

Life can be crazy at times and I’m often too tired to do a lot of things, but I’m not too tired to tell you something important: I appreciate you for being my good reader. Because without you, I can’t share who I am, and then all kinds of chaos breaks out inside my head.

And that ain’t good.

Another shot of my flower garden. It's just too pretty not to share.

Another shot of my flower garden. It’s just too pretty not to share.

15 Responses to “Letting it Out”

  1. Melissa April 9, 2014 at 4:37 pm #

    Oh my gosh, I totally get this! Great post, Jessica. Keep writing!

    • Allegro non tanto April 9, 2014 at 8:17 pm #

      Thanks, Melissa! Tell Ginny I miss her!

      • Melissa April 10, 2014 at 11:12 pm #

        Aw….we miss you, too!

  2. akismet-32413b224e7bf3d13069184e51efa866 April 9, 2014 at 6:15 pm #

    I never get tired of reading your words. Funny, I never thought about writing as connection, maybe because my three books, especially Loveyoubye, have been about trying to take “fuller possession of the reality of my life,” but yes, of course it is also about connection. A HUGE theme in my life. Makes perfect sense.

    • Allegro non tanto April 9, 2014 at 8:09 pm #

      And I would not have had the pleasure of knowing you but for our shared love of writing!

  3. injaynesworld April 9, 2014 at 6:24 pm #

    Writing to connect… I totally get that. Thrilled to hear you’re working away at your novel. Kudos to you, girlfriend. Me, I’m the impatient time — hence I write short fiction. Also, I’m an old broad. Time is of the essence. 😉 Love you!

    • Allegro non tanto April 9, 2014 at 8:10 pm #

      I’m an old broad, too–that’s why I’m so impatient to get it done! xxoo

  4. Beth Fairfield April 9, 2014 at 8:35 pm #

    Always love your posts, however regular or irregular they are… and your flowers… they keep me inspired.. so keep on keeping on how ever you need to! I will continue to enjoy reading! Beth

    • Allegro non tanto April 9, 2014 at 9:02 pm #

      Thank you for being one of my very best “good readers” Beth!

  5. Betty Pierskalla April 9, 2014 at 10:35 pm #

    I have a 50+ yr old very creative student who has taken 2 years to write a very long book, (her first) and editors have convinced her it will be a best seller.1900 pages now. Anyway, she goes through the same pain as you…and she does not work, nor have a family. Keep going Jess, you are not alone. You too, will have a best seller and the satisfaction that your ideas and struggles are out there in your own creative words.
    Betty P

    • Allegro non tanto April 10, 2014 at 12:29 pm #

      Thanks so much for telling me this, Betty. It’s sometimes hard to keep going, but your words and encouragement really help me so much!

  6. Becky Green Aaronson April 10, 2014 at 9:19 am #

    I completely relate to your post, Jessica! I love connecting too, and so appreciate my readers, but often get pulled away, or like you, feel like I might be repeating myself. It’s a challenge to stay fresh and also pour yourself into your current work in progress. Just so you know, though, I NEVER get tired of your writing. There’s magic in them thar words! Keep writing!

    • Allegro non tanto April 10, 2014 at 12:30 pm #

      All I can say is that you’re the very best, Becky. So happy you’re in my life.

  7. debatterman April 10, 2014 at 12:40 pm #

    No small irony that your first post after a hiatus is about something completely different from earlier posts. And couldn’t agree more re: feeling so alive when I write. I’m edgy when I haven’t written for a while; the blues kick in. And even if we, as writers, perceive what we do as an internal process, at some point we need readers. So glad to be one of yours 😉

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