Today, I spent an hour on the phone changing my contact information with two different entities. And yesterday, I spent about forty-five minutes straightening out a billing gaffe with another company. I also lined shelves in the hallway closet and unpacked boxes of toiletries, towels and various other bathroom-esque items before I organized the guest room closets. And then I did some laundry. And then I swept and broke down boxes and did some general maintenance around the place.
By themselves, these are not difficult tasks, but after two weeks of settling in to this house and over a month of packing and unpacking, I’m more than a little tired of the whole process. And my creativity? Well, let’s just say I sat down to work on a new project today, and I ended up staring at the cursor for a good half hour before taking an iced-tea and CSI break.
Tonight was the first week night in memory that Mike and I had a chance to sit together on the couch and watch TV and just do nothing. Is there plenty left to do? Oh, God, yes. But we needed an off-duty night. And though I wanted to have some terrific story for all of you tonight, alas, I feel quite boring and unimaginative.
For a few years, I didn’t do much writing. I’ve always been in love with craft; I’ve been writing stories ever since I could hold a pencil, but at a certain point, I just got a little stuck. I began to worry that I wasn’t very good at it or that it would never amount to anything other than a hobby. And then, after my hiatus, I started again, and it felt pretty great. To my surprise, I had a lot to say.
In recent months, that old fear has creeped into my consciousness. I am working on a book proposal, but every time I sit to do it, I feel overwhelmed. Terrified. I know that once I come up with a draft, it will get a lot easier, but for some reason, it feels too tremendous, too scary. I sit there staring at it, and then I worry about it. And then I take an undeserved break. I don’t think I can let my current dry spell last as long as my last one, but I know that forcing creativity can work, but it can also be disastrous. With the move and all the chaos of the last few weeks–months–maybe I’m being too hard on myself.
The difference between my former self and my new one is my desire to keep going even on the days when nothing comes. Like tonight. Because I haven’t written in days, I wanted to stop here and say something, anything, even if it’s not very interesting or the least bit inspired. It just feels good to type it out, to stay connected. And it also means that deep down, I know that my writer’s block is just a temporary condition and that my creativity is bound to return.
Maybe that will happen once the boxes cease to linger around random corners of the house and when I no longer need to spend forty-five minutes on the phone with the electric company.
But even if it doesn’t, it would be nice for those things to hurry up and end already.