Welcome to Following the Whispers blog

Thank you so much for taking the time to visit. Hope you enjoy your stay. I blog here whenever I feel the need. This blog was created at the time my memoir came out, in February, 2009. Its motto was: creating a life of inner peace and self-acceptance from the depths of despair. Now, my focus is sharing this journey we call life.

“Only one thing is more frightening than speaking your truth, and that is not speaking it.” Naomi Wolf

“We are called human beings, not human doings.” Wes Nisker, Buddhist teacher

“It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs…(And) if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly.” Theodore Roosevelt

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Insecure Writers Support Group - June

How can one call themselves a writer if they aren't writing? I am befuddled. Every spiritual message I receive tells me I am meant to write this book and yet when I sit down to write, nothing is coming. I am reading a book called The War on Art, and the very first paragraph describes exactly how I am feeling. The author calls it resistance and apparently it a very common, human trait. We resist doing what we most want. That is counter-intuitive to me.

I know exactly where my insecurity lies. I'm 63 years old. I see what other authors must do to find an agent and market their books. Self-publishing only increases the amount of work the author must do to sell books. I don't have the energy for that anymore. So I ask myself, why write if I'm not going to publish. I try not thinking about that at all and just write because I love it and because it feeds my soul. But that is not working right now.

So I wait. And hope the words will begin flowing again one day soon.

Blessings,
Karen

38 comments:

Helen Ginger said...

I can't say for sure, but I think the urge to write will return. It slows down sometimes for me, as well. But it comes back. Usually, it's the character that won't quit until I write their story. And it's me, too. There are times that writing isn't a priority because of other things going on. When that happens, I keep a small notebook that I can carry with me. If any idea or snippet of dialogue comes to me, I write it in the notebook. Just little things. Then one day, I'll read them and feel the inspiration returning.

Mama J said...

I know I sometimes become 'stuck' with writing because I know exactly what I want to write and am really passionate about t in my head but I'm scared I won't be able to do it justice on paper. I find that very frustrating.

Other times I've simply lost the desire to write and there's no forcing it and I've had to wait for some sort of inspiration.

Even if I'm never published, I can't imagine never writing.

Susan Roebuck said...

I think it's the lack of confidence...I have the same problem and I think it's because I'm scared that what I write won't work out. So often I write something and think "this isn't exactly what I had in mind" but if I edit like crazy I can usually lick it into shape. And yes, Karen, you ARE a writer!

Murees Dupé said...

I can relate to how you are feeling. But, I know for a fact that you will write again. It is ok to take a break from it.

Best of luck.

Jess * Jessie * Jessy said...

I feel this way too often. In fact, several years ago, I left writing and sold real estate. Now there's a profession for you! Just swap houses for books and there's not much difference; so I came back to writing.

The thing is, how can we not write? We have it ingrained deep down in our hearts and souls because it's a gift from God. There are so many stories that need to be told--fiction and nonfiction. Ideas are everywhere. Grab you one, Karen, and get back on the writer's chair!

Michelle Gregory said...

i'm trying to learn when to fight against that and when to just let it be what it is. it's not easy.

michelle said...

I suppose the creative brain also needs time-out when fatigue sets in... and you cannot force something that isn't there... so it's a healthy choice to take a break now and again!

Karen Walker said...

This post and these comments today solidified my decision to stick with blogging for now because this community is amazing. Thank you so much for these thoughtful, kind, wise, comments. You are all right. It's complicated.
Karen

Suze said...

I think you should step away from interactivity online for a bit. Spend some time in that garden you have created, distance yourself from the whole idea of publication, what others are doing and not doing and just allow the inner kinks some space to unfurl.

I feel certain that we all grapple with these things to one degree or another and focusing on the wrong things is tantamount to perfect paralysis.

Free yourself by placing those eyes somewhere else. Think, all day, today, about where you are feasting your eyes. If they are looking somewhere that is increasing your anxiety, look somewhere else.

recoveryalongroute66.com said...

In Al-Anon, we have a slogan that says "Bring the body, the rest will follow," and sometimes I use this for writing when I feel that resistance or fear or just a lack of confidence.

Whatever you choose to do, you will have a lot of support. This is a wonderful group of people, this IWSG, and beyond. So, whatever you do, know you are not alone. Okay?

-Chris

L.G.Smith said...

Oh, wow, have I been there. I don't know why we react like that psychologically. It really makes no sense, but I've bumped up against it before. I don't know if it's fear of success or what, but I've stalled out a time or two because of resistance to moving forward. Gah, we're such weird creatures sometimes. :)

Tonja said...

If you were a construction worker and were on vacation or maybe laid off until there was work to be done, you would still be a construction worker. You are still a writer even on days you aren't writing.

Arlee Bird said...

I really relate to what you're saying here. I write a lot on my blogs and things related, but I need to focus on the writing I want to publish.

I think I've gotten into the comfort zone that is hard to break out of.


Lee
Wrote By Rote

Karen Walker said...

Such wise words here, people.
Suze, you are an old soul, indeed, and I so appreciate you.
Chris, spent a lot of years in Al-anon--those slogans work - I'd forgotten that one - thank you.
L.G., sigh!!!
Tonja - brilliant!!!
Lee, yeah I know, those comfort zones are so hard to leave.
Karen

Annalisa Crawford said...

I often compare writing to other types of art. Would you not paint if you weren't going to show it in a gallery? Would you not sew if you weren't going to show it at London Fashion Week?

Focus on the writing, because that's the part you want to do right now. All the other stuff can come later!

Good luck.

L. Diane Wolfe said...

We resist what we want most. Why on earth do we do that to ourselves?

Thank you for your offer to read through my next book, Karen. I will be emailing you!

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

The words will come! I waited almost a whole year for the words to come for my next book.

Jemi Fraser said...

It'll flow again! I think everything moves in cycles - ebbs and flows of emotions & energy.

The self pubbing does appear exhausting - but if/when it's right, it's seem the right thing to do!

Elizabeth Spann Craig/Riley Adams said...

You'll find the words again soon. And...you don't *have* to agressively market a self-pubbed book. I just put mine up and let them sit there and work on my other stuff. It might give you a lot of satisfaction to just share your book...you shouldn't have to knock yourself out blog touring or spending lots of time on social media. You'll be amazed how you can find an audience, just having it available. :)

Scribbles From Jenn said...

Keep at it, the words will come, exactly when you are ready for them.

Keep blogging, it's wonderful for the ego!

Scribbles From Jenn said...

Keep at it, the words will come, exactly when you are ready for them.

Keep blogging, it's wonderful for the ego!

Karen Walker said...

Thank you all so much for the support and kind words.
Karen

Bob Milne said...

I've always believed that I have to write for myself first, and for an audience second. As much as I want to be published and crave that spot on the bestsellers shelf at Chapters, it's capturing the stories that keep me up at night that keeps me going.

~Jennifer~ said...

Hi, I'm a new follower. :)

I'm sorry you're feeling this way right now. I don't believe it'll last forever. I don't know what it is, but there are times when the words are there in us but blocked for some reason. Something will happen to release those words and worries. :)

Siv Maria said...

I know what you mean about the work involved in getting published and the thought of it also tires me out...Just the thought! I think you are on the right trail though. Just don't think about it and write just for yourself. The words will come when you stop looking so hard for them and worrying what to do with them once the do.

Melissa Bradley said...

I have to get this book. It sounds exactly like what I go through at times. There are weeks where there is nothing. I blame my Muse, but maybe there is something else. Thank you for sharing this title.

Jennifer Shirk said...

My friend is going thru a little bit of a burnout too. I think it's natural to feel this way every once in awhile.

Tara Tyler said...

the words will come when you least expect, when you havent thought about it for a while. like when people are looking for their soulmate, mr/ms right is a pleasant surprise once they stop searching

Dafeenah said...

Hi Karen, not been able to visit much lately. Hope you're doing well. I know what you mean about the writing. I write but not to be published. I write to cleanse myself of the toxins that are in me. I don't know if that makes me a writer or just a word doodler or waht it makes me but I'd say if you love to write then write and don't worry about what happens after. There's no reason to worry about something that doesn't exist yet. Just concentrate on the now and that is the writing.

Julie said...

I hope your words will be flowing again soon too, Karen. You have such a gift with words! I've never read the War on Art but that is interesting, the first paragraph definitely rings a bell for me.

Take care and best wishes to you!

Amanda Trought said...

I can definitely relate to what you shared and I think it is a battle that will rage on for the creative. Sometimes I find doing something totally unrelated yet creative can get the juices flowing again..I get out my camera, or just go for a walk, also for me writing in a journal also helps the ideas to flow. Hope you have a blessed week, Amanda

The Golden Eagle said...

I hope the words start flowing again for you soon! I'm sure they will, though. :)

Heather M. Gardner said...

If writing makes you happy then write to be happy. Not to publish or to make money. Write because that is your outlet. Because that is your gift.
Heather

Jessica Salyer said...

I completely agree with Heather. Write because you want to, because it makes you happy. All the rest just puts extra stress on you. When your done, then you can tackle that.

sjp said...

I never really consider publishing to be a possibility as I write for myself, that should not hold you back if you enjoy it.

DL Hammons said...

The words will flow when everything in your life is aligned. Trying to force them is never the answer. Be patient. You'll probably be surprised when the urge returns! :)

Donna B. McNicol said...

Better late than never (from IWSG). Sorry you are STUCK...but I understand. I'll be 65 this year and everything takes more time and more energy. The words will flow when they are ready....

Ann said...

Oh Karen..I totally understand. I too want nothing more than to write, but self-sabotage seems to be my constant companion. But I have to believe that this too will pass!