The Insecure Writer's Support Group - November Edition

Hello and welcome to the November gathering of the Insecure Writer's Support Group. We "meet" the first Wednesday of every month to offer encouragement to those in need and to perhaps get a little for ourselves.

Learn more about our group and sign up by visiting the website HERE.

How about a big, round of applause for our fantastic co-hosts for this month: Tonja Drecker, Diane Burton, MJ Fifield, and Rebecca Douglass! Make sure to stop by and tell them thanks for all their hard work!

                       * * *

Life has been weird. I mean, weirder than usual. Ever since Hurricane Irma I've felt disconnected from everything: life, the universe. Even the number 42 brings no comfort. I've edited my novel off and on - a novel I completed in June. I wrote the dang thing in ONE MONTH but it's November and I'm still only half way finished with the first round of edits.

And I'm fine with that. Really. It's the strange, disconnected feeling, the illusion that I'm not really here but just observing life going on around me and participating no where, offering nothing in return that's weighting on my mind.

Maybe it's that Celtic shifting of the seasons: All Hallow's Eve, Samhain, All Soul's Night and all that. Perhaps the veil between this world and the spirit world IS lighter, thinner, flimsier than we think and I'm having a bit of trouble deciding where I belong.

*cue Yeats' "The Stolen Child"*

But I have been working, diligently, on some other projects. The novel haunts me, which is good: it's horror. When I do edit, it's all consuming so, perhaps, it's not such a bad thing to let it lie for a week or two at a time. I've been working with my hands more, sewing, creating things that are tangible and corporeal. Stories are more real, yes, but they require your soul. You realize this, right? Embroidery doesn't ask for a pact signed in blood. Writing, however, does.

Don't tell me you didn't know that?

So, what? Am I afraid? Afraid of what might happen if I offer up my creative self on a pyre to be consumed by the stories that threaten to match-strike at any moment? The projects bring me peace and open up a side of me that relishes the idea of turning back and walking muddy tracks at the turn of the twentieth century. I need that.

It's the mud that keeps me grounded.

How do you find balance between two selves? The writer self and the self that needs roots, that needs dirt under the nails and the prick of needles to remind you that there's more things in heaven and earth, Horatio? Or would you rather catch flame with the fire of your stories?

I'll tell you a secret:

There's also a part of me that longs to burn.

Good luck to all you WriMos and happy November!
xo

PS: I've been out of town since Sunday and won't be back until this evening. I'll be paying first Wednesday visits starting tomorrow :)

Comments

  1. Sorry about the disconnect. If you are being creative somewhere, that's still good. It keeps you in the creative mode.

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    1. Yes! That's what I keep telling myself. As long as I'm being creative it keeps me connected to the "flow". And it keeps me from going crazy!

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  2. I think it must be helpful to have another creative outlet, like your embroidery, when you're feeling stagnant on the writing front.

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    1. It really is. I'm trying to look at it that way, as a way to refresh a dry well. I poured so much out during June when I finished the novel I'm realizing that I just don't have enough creative energy to send toward my editing. Not yet, but it's building.

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  3. How do you keep balance? As I told someone else this morning, the chaos becomes the balance. At least it does in my world.

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    1. Oh I like that! I'm going to write that on a piece of paper and tape it above my desk/sewing machine. Thank you :)

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  4. I hope this won't sound too crazy... I pretend. Fake it 'til you make it. It works for me. :-)

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    1. That doesn't sound crazy at all! It makes sense. And it does work! Thank you :)

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  5. Writing does, indeed, require a blood pact. And sometimes we need to stop, observe, to listen for cues quietly. Being creative with your hands allows your mind to disengage and just rest. Be at peace with it.

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    1. Thank you, Lee. This is such rich wisdom. This happens every year. As things wind down and begin to seep into the holidays, I find that my mind needs to just "be". It needs permission to stop trying to tell a story and let stories happen.

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  6. That disconnect you mentioned might be what I feel. Sort of no where. We're consumed with hospital visits to see our new grandbabies--twins born 4 weeks early, healthy but in 2 different hospitals an hour apart. (One had problems that turned out not to be problems & had to be transported to a children's hospital). DIL isn't allowed to drive yet, so we're chauffeuring. Even though there's time to write, I can't seem to focus. I think this happens to all of us at times. Life will return to normal. Right now, it feels chaotic. I hope you're able to settle down again soon.

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    1. Thank you, Diane. Congratulations on the new grandbabies! I hope they and mom can go home soon. And I also hope that the chaos settles for you as well and you are able to be with your stories and enjoy them!

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  7. Catastrophes disrupt us for a very long time. I understand the feeling of being disconnected and at loose ends. We've had major fires and earthquakes that put us out of our home for weeks, and getting back into "normal" life wasn't easy. I wish you the very best and hope recovery comes for you and all the others affected by the hurricane.

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