Off and On

Let me start by saying I’ve been a writer for many years—off and on—and am just coming out of a lengthy period of “off.” I wish it weren’t so, but I tend to let life in general get in the way of writing. And I procrastinate. To my shame, “Don’t do today what you can postpone until tomorrow,” seems to be my rallying cry.

A few years ago when I was “on,” I had quite a few short stories published, but the forward momentum didn’t last when life hit a difficult stretch. The road has since smoothed out, so now, I’m trying again.

Writing is a lonely endeavor. Not everyone is cut out to sit alone in front of a computer for hours on end, pulling words out of wherever they come from and forming them into something they hope someone will find pleasure in reading. And there are so many distractions: job, kids, spouse, family obligations, friends, TV, lovely books, and of course, the computer (with an internet connection) right in front of you. It takes a lot of willpower to push it all aside and focus on your writing. It’s not easy. And don’t let anyone try to tell you otherwise.

But when everything comes together, when you read back over what you have written, and it’s good, damn good, in fact, it’s all worth it. You got the story/poem/ article out of your head and onto paper. To me, there’s no better feeling in the world.

Except maybe getting paid for doing it.

Money and recognition are fantastic things, but to be honest, most of us don’t write for those reasons; we write because we have to. The words, plots, and people are there in our heads, and they demand to be heard. We give them a voice and in doing so, find our own unique voice.

And isn’t that what it’s all about?

©️2019 KT Workman



10 thoughts on “Off and On

  1. Really enjoyed your post! Life does get in the way sometimes, to be sure! Hope you continue writing. You might want to take part in Jo Hawk’s Daily Writing Challenge of writing “something” every day, even if it’s just one sentence. I have found that writing Elfchens helps me meet that goal – an 11 word poem.

    I also love the quote of Zadie Smith’s quote – “The only thing that matters is what you leave on the page”.
    Chuck

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Although we’ve both been at this for a while, our stories are quite different. I entered college at the age of 37. In the course of taking an entry level English class, I went to my Instructor’s office seeking help with the Poetry section of the class. I didn’t understand the stuff and it was frustrating as hell. He offered me a book by Sharon Olds and I sat down and read it from cover to cover. Got up and bought myself a notebook in which I wrote three pieces I thought might be poems. My instructor, not even looking at what I’d written, asked me to enter them in the first writing contest on campus. Told me they weren’t getting many submissions for that category. Full of doubt, I did as he asked, only to find out, months later, that I had won first place. That, in turn, propelled me into any Creative Writing Class held there in my years as a student. I began submitting some pieces to small presses in my home state and several were accepted. Then responded to a Press in California seeking poems for an anthology about men and women growing old together. My poem was chosen for the anchor piece of the book. Later, because of the popularity of the book, it was put into tape cassette form and that was nominated for a Grammy Award in The Spoken Word category. We didn’t win but that in turn, resulted in me being invited to teach as a Free Lance Writing Instructor at the University from which I’d graduated. I also taught at another local college and many of the fine art schools in the surrounding area. I became the Moderator of the longest established poetry group in the area, and had my own column in a local magazine, about the positive and healthy aspects of a regular writing regimen. I was retired on disability and found myself at odd ends, but had a computer so began blogging. I’ve been interviewed several times online and have taught online as well. The last was a year long experience, using the 12 stages of the Heroic Journey as a way of discovering and writing ones own story.
    I went to my instructor with a simple question and ended up with a profession I could never have even dreamed of. What you write now is just another step in your process. But, I must admit, writing gave me a life that far exceeded any plans I might have otherwise considered. It is also one of the healthiest occupations any individual can partake in because it forces one to seek and define their individual truths, constantly allows a questioning mind the opportunity to seek answers that elevate life to a level like nothing else can. Sorry for taking up so much space, but your personal essay brought so many thoughts and memories to mind, and I wanted to demonstrate the other side of that particular coin.

    Elizabeth
    https://soulsmusic.wordpress.com/2019/04/29/on-being-a-sister-to-trees/

    Liked by 1 person

    1. No worries about space…I loved reading your story. You’ve had quite a life, have accomplished many things to be proud of. And I welcome your thoughts on the benefits of writing. I’m not a deep thinker, so have never looked at it as elevating my life. I just know it’s something I have to do.
      Thank you for the lovely, thought-provoking comment.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. I also have always written short stories and poems, and practiced daily journaling since I was young. But through hard times, I have come to rely on writing to tell the truth; both to myself and to share with others what is actually happening from my perspective. Writing through the eye of the needle of my husband’s death showed me that I could also be a good writer. Now I also must simply write and am very grateful to have this vehicle. Although I have one co-authored book to my name, I am content to to write for my well educated and appreciative audience in my retirement community. I learn, I write, I grow, I write, I grieve, I write, I love life anew, I write, I tell stories and write some more. Love to share with others here in cyberland as well. Thanks for writing!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I also am content to just write…I don’t feel the need to become wealthy or famous, or even publish, though I am dipping my feet into those waters again. Writing fulfills a part of me that nothing else does, and I can’t imagine ever stopping.
      Thank you for your thoughtful comment, Judi.

      Like

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