Jamie's blog could have been written by me, and it sounds as if others feel many of the same thoughts. For Christmas, I gave myself the book "Unstuck: A Supportive and Practical Guide to Working Through Writer's Block" by Jane Anne Staw because I was very aware that for the past several months I was indeed stuck with my writing. It has helped--I have two pages of a prospective novel (That I avoided writing by researching forever) finally on paper-but reading the book wasn't the only thing I needed to do to help me move more forcefully into 2011. Like Jamie, the first thing I had to do was express my thoughts and fears. What was keeping me frozen? What had happened to my passion for writing? What had happened to that energetic 'me' who juggled job, kids, household, creative demands, rode regularly and volunteered? Well, the truth is, that person has gotten older.
Linda has blogged many times about enjoying a quieter and more contemplative life with horses. Her thoughts and introspections have resonated with me. Part of me has enjoyed this more peaceful pace--today my daughter (who will soon head back to college) and I spent an hour watching the birds at the feeder. But the other part mourns the disappearance of that person who had limitless energy and resolve, and I often feel sad as well as fearful that somehow I have lost 'me.'
Jamie, perhaps some of what I have been going through makes sense for you, too. Do you see some parallels between you and Gailey? The two of you have been partners for a long time. Now that relationship has changed, and maybe you are mourning that loss of athletic and competitive energy you both had. Sometimes we have to work through that sadness before moving on. I hope in time you can find a new way to exercise that gives you joy because as every magazine article states, exercise is key to keeping up your spirits and health. For me, religiously walking my dogs twice a day (rain or shine)has helped keep me moving, plus I continue to enjoy trail riding when the weather and footing cooperate.
Now, back to the writer's block. "Unstuck" made me dig deep and think about the anxieties and fears that plague me. It might be a worthwhile read for you, I don't know. I also have "The Writers Book of Hope" on my bedside table. I do know that I have lost that 'hunger' and drive I had when I first started writing. I also continue to lose heart when I get a bad review or rejection from an editor. (Even after publishing 60 books. Sheesh, you'd think I'd be over that touchiness that by now.) Does it help that you and I are not alone? That all authors have a tough time moving beyond those hurts and anxieties? Probably not. But I hope you find a way to conquer your own worries and 'stucks'--writing them down and sharing them was a great first step!