(this is a story about not wanting to write)
Is it February? Is winter not over yet in your part of the world? In my landscape, it is whiter than white, blowing snow, blue above the clouds, a little sunshine sparkling on snow, drifts and piles of white everywhere, and a crisp coldness. Some days I find that invigorating, and head out to the frozen lake (Lac St-Louis is really part of the St-Lawrence river) and cross country ski, especially when there is fresh snow covering the ice.
But some days, like one day this week, the cold, the clouds, the constant bundling up and trying to stay warm got me down. Or maybe it was my immune system fighting off cold or flu germs (I have been sneezing a lot). All I wanted to do was stay in bed. I had planned a writing day. Actually, it seems to go with the territory, that when I plan to work on my stories, resistance comes up and I suddenly feel a huge weight on me, inertia sets in, and I can’t get motivated. I want to hide under the pillows and sing, woe is me.
So I lit a candle and got out my Native American totem cards, picked four cards and wrote in my journal. Put on some soothing music (Bija, my favourite heart-beat like pace of sound), and hunkered down on my bed to write out what the cards said (great advice, always). Then I pulled out a book I’m supposed to review, (Mothering from your Center) and read a chapter on birth energies and did the visualization of my creative center, and whoops – before I knew it was writing, making notes on the book, on my experience of energetically releasing two previous miscarriages from over 23 years ago. My passion came back, my interest in writing, my mojo was back. I had a productive day.
There is no magic cure for inertia, but what I found worked (yesterday, then again today) was just snuggling down into it. Of course, I work at home, so it’s easier for me to stay in my pj’s and read a book. Today I pulled out a collection of erotica, short stories, excerpts and poems and before I knew it, I was hotly inspired to write - jumped up to the computer and revised one of my old chestnuts (stories that have barely survived my total ignoring of them for over ten years), and actually sent two stories out to literary journals. It helps that they accept email submissions, so I didn’t have to get dressed and go to the post office or the nearest mail box, or look for stamps.
Now that is way more than I have done in over a year, in fact, the only things I have sent out are to a once a year story competition, and I remind myself not to do that anymore – I haven’t published any short stories yet (well, one, in a parenting magazine), and so submitting to open ‘auditions’ if you will is more productive than sending a one-off to a competition that 500 other writers are sending to.
My secret was just to keep moving – to pick up a book, to just put a little oil in the machine, get the motor running, purring a little, before stepping on the gas and taking her out for a ride. I’m still sluggish, even more so after eating lunch and now my digestion system is slowing me down, but here I am typing up this blog post, see I didn’t even know it was going to be a blog post until just now. And I am working again. In spite of inertia and slug like slowness.
On a day where you feel as slow as molasses in January, even if it’s February, take it slow and easy. Put one foot in front of the other, pour yourself a cup of hot tea, and hunker down to it. Gently. You can do it!