Thursday, January 10, 2013

Forgetting Practicality

I'm dealing right now with a creative block that is far more extreme than any of the ones I've had before. I'm letting my work situation and my fears about the future get the best of me. And sadly whenever I sit down to write I keep thinking about money. "If this won't pay the bills, aren't I just wasting my time?" is the question that plagues me. And it instantly kills whatever I was going to write, or create.

I've always been a practical person. Given the choice of a car, I'll always pick the dependable one. I look at the consequences of every single one of my decisions. And I keep falling back on words I heard a lot as a child, how will you make a living as a writer? Those questions dug into my psyche and wedged there. For the last couple years I've been so focused on paying the bills, that I've forgotten about writing. It doesn't help the bottom line, after all.

What I've also forgotten is how much I used to love just making things up for the fun of it. I used to do it all the time. I still tell myself stories in the car and find it far more entertaining than any music on the radio. I love stories and storytelling. And I miss them. This week I'm going to start stories again.  I'm going to play with words and write down ideas. It won't be good writing, but it'll be writing. And I bet it will make me happy. I need to remind myself that anything that makes me happy is worthwhile. Anything that sparks my interest and soul is worth pursuing. I might never sell a story or a poem. But I will start enjoying myself. Which is more than I have been doing.

"The arts are not a way to make a living. They are a very human way of making life more bearable. Practicing an art, no matter how well or badly, is a way to make your soul grow. Sing in the shower. Dance to the radio. Tell stories. Write a poem to a friend, even a lousy poem. Do it as well as you possibly can. You will get an enormous reward. You will have created something."
~Kurt Vonnegut

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