Have you ever made a decision, and you’re just so sure about it because you’ve spent so much time feeling like that’s exactly what your meant to do, just to wake up one day and feel lost again?
This entire week, I’ve felt so enlightened and at the same time anxious, because I’m anticipating everything that’s going to happen -or not happen- in the next year. All I’ve done is think about writing. My already in-process stories, which are rewritten versions of things that already exist, are doing better than they have been in recent months. In one night, I typed and edited 11 pages worth of content for one story and I was able to plan a new chapter for a different story before I went to bed. For the novel I’ve only barely begun to write, I planned plots and had enough paragraphs written out in my head (which I forgot as soon as I woke up again) to fill pages. My whole body was jittery with zeal like a recent convert ready to reap the world’s harvest for Christ. I couldn’t wait to keep writing, keep planning, and keep running with my thoughts and ideas. I was churning out words like an unstoppable yogurt machine that has the lever stuck on GO. Hmm… Not my best imagery. My point is, I was ready to put everything I had into this.
Then, I woke up today. I opened an empty word document, my fingers ready to mold a new world once again. I had a list of chapter titles / topics I wanted to start crafting. I clicked a few keys and somehow… the words escaped me. What happened to the purely genius paragraphs (in my opinion at least) that I thought up yesterday?! I cursed myself for being too lazy to write them down before… I knew what I wanted to convey, but the sentences just didn’t fit together. Then I sat and just looked at the broken phrases I managed to get down. The cursor at the end of a half sentence kept blinking, counting the seconds as I continued to sit. Is this how all writers feel? I tried to imagine someone like Virginia Woolf staring at a blank piece of paper and looking loss, her pen idling hesitantly over the white. How did those beautiful letters and sentences get started? Did they spring forth and bounce onto the page the moment she sat down, or did she have to stare at the nothingness for days on end and wait for some grand epiphany to come upon her? And it was in the midst of this wondering and not really figuring anything out that I remembered something I read that she, at one time, had written. I didn’t find this quote out of a text by Virginia Woolf. Actually, I read it in some YA book where the character was talking about Virginia Woolf and happened to have quoted it. So I can’t be sure what context she was speaking under when she wrote it. Still.
“My own brain is to me the most unaccountable of machinery — always buzzing, humming, soaring, roaring, diving, and then buried in mud. And why? What’s this passion for?”
What is this passion for? I wondered. There’s always so much thinking, wanting, planning, worrying that goes on in my head. Sometimes I get the wind knocked out of me just from sitting. And when I finally drag my thoughts back to look at where I am, I find myself with a sinking feeling. Like my feet are buried in quick sand, and my legs don’t have the power to pull my ankles out.
In short, I’m feeling stuck. But that was bound to happen, and it probably won’t be the last time. I imagine that there are moments, whether it’s during the odd hours of night when everyone’s in bed, or in the middle of a shower, or even on the drive to work/school, that we’re not quite sure who we are, where we’re going, or what we’re suppose to be doing. And it’ll probably be okay, because the moment will pass and we’ll end up going about our day as usual. But it’s at that point, as the moment is passing and we’re dwelling on the thought, that it feels like eternity. And it just doesn’t seem like it’ll end. But it will. It always does. Maybe we just have to keep hoping.