Saturday, April 14, 2018

Five Minute Friday: OTHER


Today I'm joining Five Minute Friday, writing for five minutes on a given prompt. This week's word is OTHER.


I have been having a hard time getting much creative writing done lately. It has been a very busy term with the online course I instruct, and I've had quite a bit of marking to do, so that when I finish putting extensive comments on 15 assignments, I don't seem to have much creative juice left. 

I'm making very slow progress with the piece of fiction I've been working on -- I've written only about 4 pages in the past month. And the poetry muse has been a no-show for the past few weeks. 

I didn't even write a Five Minute Friday post last week!

The worst thing I can do at these times is to start comparing myself with what others are doing. 

So-and-so posts that they just finished their 1,000 words for the day. 

Another person just got a poem accepted. 

Someone else claims that they're a writer because THEY MUST WRITE; THEY CANNOT NOT WRITE -- and I think, "Uh, but sometimes I can not write (that's the problem). Maybe I'm not a Real Writer. Maybe I should just give up on this writing thing altogether..."

But comparison with other people (whether with writing or anything else) never helps. I have to do what works for me and not force myself to keep up with someone else's achievements or techniques. Everything has its rhythms and seasons, ups and downs, ebbs and flows ... and writing is no exception.

I need to take it easy on myself -- trusting that when the time is right the words and ideas will flow, and making space in my life for the joy that fosters creativity.

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14 comments:

  1. "I need to take it easy on myself -- trusting that when the time is right the words and ideas will flow, and making space in my life for the joy that fosters creativity." Oh, yes! I'm glad I'm not the only one who feels this way. And I don't have as much on my mind as you do. But, it's not like you're NOT thinking about writing. You simply haven't got the words yet to put on paper. And like unexpected guests, your words will show up at your mind's door and initiate a flurry of ideas that will make your heart sing! Thanks for this post. Be encouraged. God bless your weekend!

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    1. Thanks so much for the encouraging words, Vicki! I really appreciate it. Have a great weekend.

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  2. Comparison is so hard. But you, my friend, are indeed a writer! I'm in the 39 spot this week.

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    1. Thanks for the vote of confidence, Tara! Have a great weekend.

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  3. Visiting from FMF. Anybody can write. It's just stringing words together. It's only when those word strings come together and make sense -- even if only to you -- that you transition to a writer. Don't compare. You are a writer!

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    1. You're right. Or is that write? :-)

      Thanks for reading and leaving such an encouraging comment. Take care!

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  4. When I hear people say they write because they must, I wonder if they get any joy out of it. Are they really saying “I’d rather do something else, but I am compelled to write instead.” I doubt it. I think most people mean they find satisfaction in writing and have a lot of ideas they want to get down. Jennifer Grant (who has several books) once wrote a post on why she writes, and made clear it wasn’t because she must.

    All that to say, I hope you find the ideas flowing and the time expanding for you to spend time getting the words down. I like reading them.

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    1. Thanks Tim. I think I'm just going through kind of a blah writing phase. Maybe it's the weather!!!

      I don't know any other activity/hobby that is quite so prone to people saying they "must" do it. "I play hockey because I can't NOT play hockey." "I MUST play the piano." "Swimming is the only thing I know how to do." I understand that some people have a compulsion to put words down and express themselves, and that's great. But there are lots of ways to pursue the thing you love without it being less legitimate. I guess it's just the comparison aspect -- wondering "Am I doing this right?" It's so easy to fall into that.

      I appreciate your words of encouragement!

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  5. Social media can be good when it fosters connection, facilitates opportunities, and is the bridge to establish community. However, it has the propensity to create comparison when we feel that we're not enough and don't measure up to its invisible standards. I say, you are where you're supposed to be, doing what you have been created to do, now, in this season. I write led by Holy Spirit, and when there isn't a flow of words stringing together, I rest. You have a gift to share with the world and the work of your hands will prosper and succeed. Blessings to you from next door.

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    1. Thanks, Joan - I really appreciate your words! Glad to connect with you through FMF.

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  6. Comparison is such an ugly trap - and always seems to be lurking. No matter our age or the situtation. Great reminder...for all of us.

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    1. Thanks so much Jennifer - glad this spoke to you. I appreciate your being here.

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  7. Oh Jeannie, this encourages me so much! I can DEFINITELY not write, too! In fact my life is fairly busy, and this month I've been working on two talks for an upcoming retreat, and I realize for the first time, "Um, it's pretty hard to finish a book and write talks at the same time..." So I work a little on one project or the other each day. But I'm not grading English papers like you are! Thanks for your encouragement. I appreciate you.

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    1. Thanks so much for your comment, Betsy. I'm glad to know I'm not the only one. I'm glad to hear you're writing a book (maybe I knew that and forgot??), and I hope you get the time you need to finish it.

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