Absence

All of my posts from this year to date fit onto one page. I’m not sure why I’ve disappeared, because it certainly wasn’t for lack of good intentions. It also wasn’t for lack of things to write about.

Life has changed this year, drastically, and I’ve meant to record it, but somehow never did.

I think I’ve become a lot more thoughtful since January, which is partly because of all the changes, but also because I spend most of my time alone, since my work schedule hasn’t really allowed me to forge any friendships. And when I’m alone, I tend to get contemplative.

Being contemplative is good, of course, but logically, it’s not worth much if I’m not in discussion with others or writing about it. I remember in early teen years, nothing could keep me from writing, and the less time I spent with friends, the more time I spent scribbling away in my journal. But these days I’m daunted by the thought of writing, and consequently I have more half-finished drafts than I’d care to count.

Maybe part of it is because I had a fairly traumatic final semester of college, as far as stress is concerned (and if I’m being honest, most of my other semesters weren’t much better), and my greatest sources of stress came from things I had to write. I do think I’d earned some recovery time, but I’m coming up on one year since graduation. This should have been enough time.

I feel like right now I’m writing a eulogy for writing (ironic?). Writing has lately felt like an item on a to-do list. But I miss feeling like I needed to write.

In part, I suppose my unintentional hiatus is that I’ve been self-conscious about becoming One Of Those Sad Bloggers. Truthfully, this year has been easily my hardest, and I don’t feel the need to proclaim my sorrows to the world; I’d rather just confront them and push through them. Writing can be the best of outlets, but it can also become an excuse to wallow, to sensationalize, to romanticize our pain.

The other part, though, is that for reasons I don’t understand, I’ve been battling self doubt about whether I have anything worth saying to the world, despite my becoming more contemplative lately. Maybe that’s because I haven’t had people to be in conversation with and to give me feedback on my thoughts. I always feel in the moment like I’m having some profound realization, but as soon as I sit down to write, my belief in myself becomes crippled.

Maybe this is a normal part of becoming an adult in the post-grad world, where there are no grades to track your progress and no classes designed specifically to provoke discussion.

Or maybe, plain and simple, I need to learn to stop abandoning projects, no matter whether I abandoned them because of apathy or insecurity or anything else. I should resume learning to play the ukulele I got for Christmas two years ago. I should learn how to purl so I can finish knitting that scarf I started months ago. I should turn my storehouse of drafts into posts. I should keep working on the two watercolor paintings collecting dust in the corner. I should stick more religiously to my plan for working out. I should pick up any one of the several books I’ve left partly read and resume the journey through them. I should keep writing, in the nice journal I bought for myself at the very least, if not online.

I can’t believe I’m saying this, but suddenly I think I just might miss homework deadlines. By no stretch of the imagination do I miss the stress they imposed, but I do miss the feeling of accomplishment that came with completing something.

Even now, I feel much better for having written even this bit of rambling. I’m thankful for that. It reminds me that despite my inexplicable block, writing is still more natural for me than not writing.

On a whim, I signed up yesterday for NaNoWriMo. 17 hours in and I am still completely void of ideas, though I’m hoping that if I just sit myself down and try to write, inspiration will come to me like it did back when I was 13, back when I had to be grounded from writing so I could do chores and schoolwork.

(Sidebar: Holy moly, 13 was a decade ago. How did that happen?)

So with that… I suppose the time has come to stop writing about how I can’t write and just start writing.

Advertisements
Absence

2 thoughts on “Absence

  1. ajharbison says:

    Bethany, I think you’re an excellent writer. I follow your blog and your Tumblr and your Twitter account because I always enjoy what you have to say and how you say it. I hope you don’t give up on writing fiction (props on NaNoWriMo!) because I thought the stories you posted here last year (especially the Jane Eyre one) were brilliant. I’ve gone through periods of my life where I haven’t felt the need to compose music, and it is a sad thing when it occurs; but if writing is really your passion, it will pass, especially if you keep working at it. Ben Gibbard (the frontman for Death Cab for Cutie and The Postal Service) says “Inspiration likes to find you hard at work.” Keep on writing, and know that there will be plenty of people out here who will keep on reading!

  2. tayte rian says:

    ” But these days I’m daunted by the thought of writing, and consequently I have more half-finished drafts than I’d care to count.

    Writing can be the best of outlets, but it can also become an excuse to wallow, to sensationalize, to romanticize our pain.

    I should resume learning to play the ukulele I got for Christmas two years ago. I should learn how to purl so I can finish knitting that scarf I started months ago. I should turn my storehouse of drafts into posts. I should keep working on the two watercolor paintings collecting dust in the corner.

    It reminds me that despite my inexplicable block, writing is still more natural for me than not writing.”

    Favorites.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s