me not writing

On Not Writing

Lately, I haven’t felt much like writing. I don’t know why. I do know the key is to force myself to write until I get though it. Writing is a muscle that must be exercised, but I am so far out of my routine that I’m just sitting around waving at the solution while I do other things.

I’m undisciplined at writing for the first time in years. I hate it, and I feel relieved. I am relieved because I was so adamant about writing almost every day that my moments away from my family were filled with only words and work. I hate it because I feel compelled to tell stories and explain the world, and the last time I stopped writing, I did not start again for years.

me not writing
me not writing

I’ve been told by those smarter than me that maybe I need to time and space to relax. Maybe my brain and body need downtime. Maybe I need to pursue more than what I had been able to squeeze in for years.

I don’t know. I’m not filled with angst as much as confusion over this blank, unscheduled period. I thought this (school) year I would write more not less. I guess my crystal ball is broken.

Alex Iwashyna

Alex Iwashyna went from a B.A. in philosophy to an M.D. to a SAHM, poet and writer by 30. She spends most of her writing time on LateEnough.com, a humor blog (except when it's serious) about her husband fighting zombies, awkward attempts at friendship, and dancing like everyone is watching. She also has a soft spot for culture, politics, and rude Southern people who offend her Yankee sensibilities. She parents 2 elementary-aged children, 1 foster baby, 3 cats, and 1 puppy, who are all Southern but not rude. Yet.

11 thoughts to “On Not Writing”

  1. When I felt this way, people told me to write through it. Other people told me to take a break. I think taking a break after years of consistent writing is okay. Maybe what you’re tired of is writing for an audience. Maybe try freewriting in a journal or on your computer but not publishing. Maybe try binge watching something on Netflix. Maybe your brain just needs a break.

    1. I can’t tell if it’s having an audience (it is weird as I run into more and more people who read my blog IRL), if it’s the style of writing (do I miss poetry? fiction?) or whatโ€ฆ in the past I always wrote through it but I don’t seem to want to do that.

  2. Sometimes, the words just don’t come. And that’s ok. I haven’t written in a long time either, and it’s scary and frustrating and freeing to release yourself from the duty of sharing pieces of yourself every day.
    You will write again, because you are you, and you can’t NOT write again. It will come back.
    In the mean time, go enjoy the Netflix re-runs and take all the time you need. xo

    1. I guess you’re right — I won’t ever stop writing completely. I do feel like other things seem more important and distracting. I’m glad you understand the combination of feelings (freeing and frustrating) — double-dip feelings as we call it to the kids ๐Ÿ™‚

  3. With writing and blogging I feel like there is no real time off. If you aren’t doing it, you are thinking about it. Plus, you can do it anytime and anywhere so there are no real days off like we would have with a traditional job. I find myself working non stop. So sometimes I don’t really take a break and instead the break takes me. When that happens I have nothing to say or if I do it feels like it’s not worth the effort of actually writing down. I think of it as taking a vacation from myself because living in your own head so much can get tiring after a while. Sometimes you want to see other people or do other things. Or watch a lot of TV and eat cake which is probably what I would secretly want to do on a real vacation anyway…or you know, eat cake on the beach.

    1. I can remember last year taking a vacation for the first time ever and it was so odd to think I hadn’t really ever done that before. And the whole putting out the effort to write it down began a few months ago and now my brain seems to be saying that it won’t even process the stories at all if I’m not careful.
      Cake sounds perfect right about now.

  4. I get this, way too much. I am between laptops, and I have decided time and again that I will write on paper. And then something else captures my attention… oooh… books! laundry! walks!

    You will find your groove again. Until then, pictures of Lars work ๐Ÿ™‚

    1. I’m definitely distracted by my lack of fully decorating or moving into our new home. plus, the day-to-day stuff. And TV and friends and I just would rather do something else. But i feel weird about that so instead I’m not doing much of anything unless I have to do it. I think that’s why I wrote this post. To see if it pushed me in one direction or another.

  5. Oh, I can totally feel this one. I’m a writer and I have been through these periods of just not feeling like writing. At all. Then I get into self loathing because I’m not being productive. Then it starts feeling like it’s something I’m supposed to do versus what I want to do. I’ve started following my impulses lately and just writing when the mood strikes me. Even if I simply write something, however brief it may be, at least I’ve written. Give yourself a break.

    1. The self-loathing is the worst. LIke I’m failing at something. And I sit in the middle of it so I’m not getting anything else done either because I SHOULD be writing. You did make me think of a work around though. I sometimes tell my stories out loud first. Maybe I could record that each day and let it be. I don’t have to write it out if I can’t/won’t right now but at least I be doing something creative each day.

  6. I am in the same boat as you, my friend. My creative streak has been elusive lately, and I’ve been feeling out of sorts because of it. I’m forcing myself to participate in NaNoWrimo again this year, in hopes that having deadlines will help me to get out of this funk I’ve been in. If you figure out how to fix it, will you let me know? I’ll be glad to do the same for you. Hope you find your mojo again. XO

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