Hello…Is There Anybody In There?

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In case you didn’t get the reference.

So what have you missed while this blog has been gathering dust?

Well, firstly…I’m not pregnant anymore! (contain your shock)

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Noa Margret was born October 2, twenty-fourteen.

This is what she looks like now, three months later.

(Actually I just checked and I can’t find any up-to-the-moment pictures of her.) So here she is at two months. She looks mostly the same. Perhaps a little chubbier now.

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I didn’t make any official resolutions this year, but after I had a complete breakdown a couple weeks ago I snapped into Get Shit Done mode with a side of Sunshine and Positivity and Goals (although it sounds cooler if I call them intentions).

At the top of my list, as always, is to write more–specifically to blog more.  I’ve missed blogging.  I’ve missed having an opportunity to get some of these words out of my brain and onto paper (or rather, screen).  THERE ARE SO MANY WORDS.  So many.  And without regular adult company, I am lonely.  Very lonely.

Perhaps it’s pathetic to admit that, but damn it if it isn’t true.

So, invisible internet friends, I’m shoving my pessimism aside and ignoring the adage about the best-laid plans.

I’M BACK, Y’ALL.

Here’s to goals and to writing and positivity and shit.

Happy 2015.

 

 

 

Potential

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There’s nothing quite as intoxicating as potential.

Whether it’s the heady excitement of a new relationship, or the mind-spinning birth of a new idea, that hinted-at potential draws us in, hooks us, and keeps us coming back for more.

When I ended my unproductive writing session the other day, I knew nothing had come of it.  Radiohead had failed me.

And yet, for the rest of the evening and during the next day, a single phrase I had written kept popping into my head.  “I can’t do anything with this,” I thought, and pushed it aside, but it was doggedly persistent.  Just that one phrase, repeating in my mind, over and over until–

IDEA.

I was stunned into disbelief at first.  Plot ideas are few and far between for me, and I hoard them like precious gems.  This new story idea seemed almost completely unrelated to the random phrase that had been circling my thoughts for two days, but I’ve learned not to question the strange paths my mind sometimes takes to get to its destination.

So now I have it.  A lovely, shiny idea of my very own.  The inspiration I’ve been wanting, needing.  These early stages are always so exciting–the possibilities seem endless, and your new, tiny bud of a story has so much potential contained within it.  Anything could happen!

But I know that potential can only take you so far.  Eventually the glitter begins to flake off, and the shiny thrill of it grows dull and stained.  What was once a retreat into a paradise of possibility begins to feel a whole lot like work.  And it’s at this point that you can either give up and move on, eyes wide and on alert for the next fresh start; or you can take a deep breath, narrow your focus, and push through the ennui.

I’ll admit that I’m not such a pro at powering through the tough stuff.  Master of half-baked ideas and brilliant plans and unfinished projects, it’s the seeing-it-through that always gets me in the end.

I’ll have to scrape together some of this ‘discipline’ everyone is always talking about and see if I can actually realize some of this bottled-up potential after all.  That’s the key, isn’t it?  Discipline.

Well, discipline and caffeine.

 

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Overcoming the Deficit

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I call myself a writer in my head.

Of course, ‘aspiring writer’ would probably be more accurate.  I’ve never been published and I don’t get paid to write; but that’s how I think of myself–as a writer.  I have a writer’s soul.  Writing is the missing piece I was searching for all those years; it’s the thing that makes me feel most alive, most fulfilled, most like me.

And yet.

I’ve never been consistent at writing.  (I’ve never been consistent at anything, to be completely truthful .) I’ve never finished any of the stories I’ve started.  I’m ashamed to admit that, because most of my writer friends are quite prolific, and have a spread of finished projects to prove it.  I feel as if I don’t deserve to call myself a writer, because if you dared me to prove it I’d come up empty-handed.

I get blocked way too easily.  Most of my ideas have never made it past the incubation stage because the second I hit a snag or a problem I can’t readily solve I freeze up.  I suppose it’s a lack of confidence.  I don’t believe I can answer the questions I’m faced with, or fix the glaring issues, or figure out where the hell to take the plot.  I read the work of writers I’m in awe of and think, There’s no way I’m smart enough or creative enough to come up with something like that.

I know that one of the keys to writing is…actually writing.  Something.  Every day.  Forcing yourself to sit down and put fingers to keyboard, or pen to paper, and produce words.  Not waiting for the ever-elusive inspiration and (in some cases, even more elusive) motivation to strike, but pushing yourself to overcome the inertia and start.

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A couple days ago I decided I was going to write something, dammit, so I sat down at my computer and typed.  45 minutes later, I had a bunch of useless snippets and a weirdly descriptive scene about blood and concrete.  (I was listening to Radiohead.)  Annoyed that I hadn’t managed to strike up a spark of brilliance, I texted my bestie.  (Am I allowed to use the word “bestie” if I’m over 15?)

 

h:  why is writing so haaaaaaaard marissa?

m:  i knooooooooowwww it’s the worst

 

Solidarity.

At least I have a faithful writing companion:

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Hobbes takes a “balls to the wall” stance on most issues.

 

So, other writers: how do you do it?  How do you push past roadblocks?  Where do you find inspiration?  How do you overcome the deficit and produce something when the ‘idea well’ is so parched it couldn’t grow a cactus?  Help a sister out and share some writing tips.  Tell me about your process.

 

 

The Iffiness of the Internet

Well, that was a depressing post to go AWOL after.

Let’s have a cat picture for good measure, shall we?

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Much better.

I’ve been feeling conflicted about blogging lately.  Which is why I haven’t.  Blogged, I mean.  Sometimes is feels so sketchy, putting my pictures, my words, my personal life on the internet for anyone to see.  I have a lot of mixed feelings, and worries about the safety and/or advisability of it.

And yet, blogging is so, so good for me.  It’s a way for me to express myself creatively; it helps fill that part of me that lies quiet and vacant–that part that I’ve never known quite how to feed.  Knowing that other people are reading, commenting, connecting with me is hugely rewarding–obviously moreso than writing any of the hundreds of random snippets of crap I have saved on my computer, since I can’t seem to see any of them through.

I love writing.  It helps me process things, make sense of myself and the world.  As scary as it is to put something raw and vulnerable out there, there is nothing more fulfilling in the world for me than to have someone read it and say, “I know those feelings.  I have been there.  That is exactly what it is like.”  It’s like I’m thrusting my hand out into utter darkness, waiting and terrified; and then someone grasps my fingers and says, “I’m here, too.”

 

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[The boys and I had a big painting sesh yesterday afternoon.  This is one of twenty-two enso circles I did.  It’s addicting–in a really relaxing way.]

 

So, I think I’ll give ye olde blog another tentative try.  I’m here.  I hope you’re here, too.