Writing Vexations: Sometimes, It’s About Willpower


I woke up this morning overwhelmed–I wanted to complete a flash fiction and a longer short-fiction today…but there was so much going on. We’re moving, and that requires a lot of my energy. To further complicate things, my little one year-old and two year-old still need to have their life be on their regular routine. My days can be summed up fairly simply: 3 meals a day, 2 loads of laundry, 1 walk, 1 nap. Everything else has to fit around those essential things, and moving is no different. Indeed, moving makes it more challenging.

So add to the fact that I’m generally writing some 2,000 words a day via my blogs or my fiction, and you have pretty full days. Well this morning, It all came crashing down. I was overwhelmed and immobilized by all of the things I had to do.

It’s not that I don’t believe in writer’s block, but I refuse to participate in it. My official day-job is taking care of my two precious boys, but if I want to make writing a supplement to our monthly income, I need to treat writing as a second job. There was no “teacher’s block” when teaching was my day job, thus there can be no “writer’s block” now. So when I kept sitting at my computer and staring blankly at Facebook instead of putting words to digital paper, I decided it was time to get up. Get something done, kiss some babies and try again.

It was the best possible thing I could do–feeling accomplished about my tangible tasks freed my mind up for the writing tasks that I had for the rest of the day. To solidify that my “block” was over, I took a moment after I put the boys down for their nap to take a long shower and wash my hair. (If you understand Black women and our complicated relationship with hair, you understand why this was an important step–thank God for my wonderful locs!!).

I’m now sitting here having written a little over 2500 words today. My Flash Fiction for chuck’s challenge is done and I’ll post it tomorrow. The Hand that Feeds You has been completed and is now called A Field of Daisies, a title that I think is very clever and almost chilling for what it is written about. I’m hoping to polish a little bit and then post it for critique tomorrow. It ended up being a lot shorter than I thought it would be, and I want to give the muse a chance to think of things to add on.

I’ve yet to experience being uninspired, but I have experienced being overwhelmed about life and writing. For so long, I’ve let life dictate my writing schedule. No longer content to put writing on the back-burner, and feeling an urgency to give this talent a chance to bring positive change to my life, I’m forcing life to make room for writing. I know that I can write and meet all of my obligations. Some days will be wildly more successful than others, but the goal is to be at least minimally successful on more days than more. It’s 10:45 on Thursday, but I think I’ll be meeting all of my goals for the week. That feels damn good.

I hope that you’ve found moments of breakthrough this week–moments when you set yourself back onto the path that you wanted to be on. We all have moments of frustration and overwhelming…it’s what we do in those moments that dictate if we’re writers who accomplish something or writer’s who are still looking forward to “someday.”


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