Staying in the Game

I’ve had a lot of trou­ble feel­ing like a proper writer lately. I work with lots of proper writ­ers who do amaz­ing work. My clients are the real deal, and because I’ve spent so lit­tle time actu­ally writ­ing lately, I started feel­ing like a poseur. Which made me even less likely to want to write any­thing seri­ous. Blog posts are easy, but real sto­ries? I felt like I had for­got­ten how to write them. I’ve been noodling, but there’s been a def­i­nite absence of spark.

And then yes­ter­day hap­pened. I was sit­ting in the local pizza par­lor hav­ing a slice and lis­ten­ing to the locals talk about God while some­thing on Fox News was going on about gun rights and I was struck with a seed of an idea. As I drove back to my home office to get some owrk done, the seed took root and kind of exploded all over my brain. I had an over­whelm­ing urge to write. The story was unfold­ing in front of me rapidly, and I knew if I didn’t grab the dragon by the tail, it was going to escape.

About halfway through, maybe an hour later, the story was dis­turb­ing me so much, I tried to stop and get some other work done–I am not really in the habit of writ­ing sto­ries that unset­tle me per­son­ally, and I found the sen­sa­tion fright­en­ing and a lit­tle excit­ing. I pushed through the dis­com­fort and fin­ished it. The dis­com­fort didn’t go away, but it was added with a grim sense of accom­plish­ment when I fin­ished it.

It’s a filthy lit­tle knife-​​twist of a thing, kind of angry and dark and more than a lit­tle vile. But it came from a place inside me I had no idea existed. Not sure I even want to exist, if we’re being honest.

But it bears more explo­ration, per­haps. I’ll be work­ing on revis­ing the piece tonight and then out into the world it will go to accu­mu­late its achieve­ment badges. Despite all that dis­com­fort, today I feel like a writer again, and I feel my inter­est in writ­ing top­ics return­ing. I was afraid I was on the out­side of it all, but all it took one was light­ning strike of inspi­ra­tion to bring the sen­sa­tion back.

I don’t know what kind of writer I am now. It feels dif­fer­ent. But I’m still a writer. I’m relieved to know it.

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2 Responses

  1. Pretty much the same thing hap­pened to me last year, Jeremiah. Too many wor­ries in my day job and my pri­vate life — I almost gave up on writing.

    Then a funny thing hap­pened on the way to the wri­ter­dom. Won’t dwell in details here, but I also had an insight of sorts and now I’m not only writ­ing again but also cre­ated a new blog where I can sim­ply put on my scrib­blings. I feel dif­fer­ent too. I can only hope we suc­ceed — hell, I know YOU will — I like your stories. :)