It’s funny how things work. I’ve been struggling for around 2 months with being creative. That even extends to writing blog posts. I’ve written, and metaphorically (because I work on computer, and it’s tough to literally) screwed up and burnt pages upon pages of stuff. The project I’ve been working on for close to a year has stalled, and I don’t know where to go with it.
It’s not that I lack ideas, or time, or even effort. It’s more that everything I write I hate. I write four pages in a morning, then come back to it in the afternoon, and wonder what I was possibly thinking. A wise man once said that writing was “…one part writing…five parts re-writing to make it not rubbish…” This is what I’ve been dealing with for a couple of months, the writing has been fine, the making it not rubbish, not so much.
It would be easy for me to think I’m being too hard on myself, too critical, and maybe I am. In the Summer I submitted some work to a gaming company that was holding, well I guess auditions, for freelance writers. I didn’t hear back from them, not even a courtesy “Thank-you for your submission” email, and I must admit it knocked my confidence a little. But some of my best writing happened in September and October, a couple of months after that submission, so I don’t think I can blame my current slump on that.
I’ve often had the problem of being distracted from a current project by something new. The start of something is so exciting, and you have so many ideas that everything moves quickly and you feel like you’re really succeeding. It’s a temptation, and one I’ve desperately tried to avoid with this project, because I’m really excited by it, I think it’s a compelling piece of work, and I want to finish it, but all I’m doing is coming up dry.
Yesterday, I was struck by inspiration, unfortunately it was for something new. However despite the danger, I allowed myself to consider it. Unlike most things, this wasn’t a BIG new project, something to distract me from what I want, and need to do. Instead this was a small thing, probably only twenty to thirty pages long. Something I can do quickly, something to refresh my creativity, get me thinking outside the box again. Something I can write, and finish, and have ready to be read by people within a few days. I had the idea at about 8pm last night, and sitting here typing at lunchtime the next day, and I’ve already written about 11 pages, and it’s good stuff. I’ve just re-read it, and apart from the usual spelling mistakes, sentences that don’t make sense, and mixed up tenses that litter, my pre-edited work it’s good stuff, it works well. In addition to that, I know what needs to be written for the other pages, I don’t need to stop and think what happens next, I know. It’s all in my head, it just needs to be transported to the page.
What’s even better is that this…this bomb of creativity that exploded in my mind, is doing a lot more than just allowing me to write something new. It’s giving me more confidence in my creativity as a whole, giving me more ideas for my main project. Reassuring me that I can write, and that I do have the ability to carry on with what I’m doing. I’m feeling more creative than I have in weeks, months even. This creative…holiday that I’m taking is allowing me to refresh myself ready for the next push of my main project and sometimes that’s what’s needed.
A relative of mine has mentioned multiple times that I should see the fact that I’m out of work as a positive. That’s pretty hard to do at times…most of the time even. I’ve got goals, I’ve got plans, and I know God’s got stuff for me, for me to be doing in my future, and it’s frustrating that I feel that all I’m doing is sitting here, being told “No” by people that aren’t interested in me. But maybe being out of work is a necessity, a time of refresh before heading back into the high stress world of Christian Ministry. Maybe, like with my writing, I need an infusion of raw energy before I jump back in. Is this what this time is? I don’t know, and it’s not going to stop me pushing, and trying, in God’s time, and will to move forward into what he has for me, but rather than seeing it as a bad thing, maybe this is something positive. A time to pause and become refreshed before going back in.
Moving fast is my nature, it’s who I am, it’s what I do. Unfortunately God likes moving us out of our comfort zones to further enhance our reliance on him. I may not like it, but if it’s what He’s doing I know it’s what is best for me in the long run. I will be going back to my main project after I’ve completed this small one. I will keep pushing to get a new job, and to move, and to see God’s grand plan unveiled for myself and my wife.
I just may not look so negatively on a week’s time out, or a year of refreshment as I have done before.