One out of One Thousand Four Hundred Sixty One

29 Feb

Well, this is the one day out of the year we will not be able to see on our calendar again until one thousand four hundred sixty more days pass.  I couldn’t let it get by without attempting to write something significant.  I mean, why not?  Right?

I’ve been in a bit of a funk lately, as some of you already know, discouragement has reared its ugly head in my life.  I’ve been so busy with painting and construction work that it has been nearly impossible to do anything towards my WIP or my blog.  Thanks to a few of my friends who comment regularly here, I’ve had a better outlook about it for the past couple days.

I know I should schedule myself to write a little each day, but schedules are not my best friends.  I’m the guy who never sticks to a schedule and so I avoid making them.  I even made a daily routine “guideline” once and titled it exactly that, because I was asked to write a schedule.  It looked like a schedule and even had times on it, but it wasn’t one because I had titled it something else.  I still didn’t stick to it.

You see, to me writing is a passion thing.  It’s something I have to be in the mood to do or it ends up just being mediocre.  So, when I have a ton of other stuff to do and can’t just drop it all to go write when my fickle muses come to flirt, I don’t get much writing done.

What puts you in the doldrums?  What discourages you?  Is it external distractions of life or is it some dark psychological stimuli that gets to you once in a while?  Most importantly, what’s your muse?  What gets your creative juices flowing?   What makes you feel as though you could write for a week without stopping?



Posted by on February 29, 2012 in Difficulties, Inspiration


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7 responses to “One out of One Thousand Four Hundred Sixty One

  1. Angeline M

    March 3, 2012 at 4:45 pm

    I don’t know WHO my muse is, but truly believe he/she is present waiting for me to ask for help when I need it; and when I do, it seem to come to me. And sometimes I sit down in front of my computer and it just starts to flow unbidden. I’ve read somewhere that you need to ask, and then be open for inspiration, to listen for it. I just started reading Julia Cameron’s The Artist’s Way, and in her intro she says “that we are led by the Great Creator….Higher powers stand ready to help us if we ask. We must remain ready to ask, open-minded enough to be led, and willing to believe despite our bouts of disbelief. Creativity is an act of faith”.
    Don’t beat yourself up, sit down and write when it feels right. Sit down and write a couple of lines about your day and what it is you’re building and painting. No time to write?…take a photo of your work and post that.
    Didn’t mean this to be an epistle…but I can feel your frustration.

    • Angeline M

      March 3, 2012 at 4:48 pm

      PS: Right after clicking out of my reply to you, I opened another email with the following quote:
      Healthy discontent is the prelude to progress. ~Mahatma Gandhi
      🙂 That was my muse sending a message to you

      • roger engle

        March 4, 2012 at 1:52 am

        Haha! I’ve read a lot about your muse! Ghandi’s great inspiration! Thanks for the comments Angeline! It always warms my heart to read them.

  2. Kourtney Heintz

    March 1, 2012 at 2:11 pm

    And the worst part is when you realize all that negativity originated in your mind. In how you interpreted things. 🙂

    Keeping the document open is a good step. Maybe commit to ten minutes of writing every day? It sounds like so little, but then again how can you rationalize missing ten minutes of writing since it’s such a small commitment. I read that advice in a Writer’s Digest article on how to build good writing habits.

    The hardest part is allowing yourself to commit junk to paper. To let it sit there. But that’s what you have to do. It’s like going to a garage sale. Junk everywhere until you start looking closely and you find that baseball card you always wanted.

    • rogerdengle

      March 1, 2012 at 2:50 pm

      Good Thoughts Kourtney. Thanks for sharing. I think I can commit to ten minutes a day.

  3. Kourtney Heintz

    February 29, 2012 at 11:24 pm

    Roger, a negative mindset is what usually gets me down. It can start with me getting a rejection. I think of all the time I spent on the book, I decide it was a waste. Then I decide my writing stinks. And then the downward spiral takes over.

    When inspiration comes that’s lightning and it’s brilliant but I can’t depend on it. So I make myself write and edit everyday. And the more I do it, the better I get at it. Some days I’m frustrated with what I’ve done. But I know tomorrow I can always try again. I remind myself I can’t edit a blank page. I can edit a page filled with drivel. 🙂

    • rogerdengle

      March 1, 2012 at 2:03 pm

      Thank you so much for sharing, Kourtney. I agree with your observations. A negative mindset is a killer for any type of artistic expression. It gets to the point where you can’t do anything.
      On the other hand, you’re also very correct about inspiration being undependable. I don’t really believe in the Greek muses of legend, but if they did exist they would have to be described as fickle indeed. That’s why I’m struggling to make sure I write regularly. At this time I don’t write daily, but I do leave the document opened on my desktop so that I see it every time I sit down at the computer. That way I’m more likely to write a few thousand words every day or so.
      I like your observation about editing a page full of drivel, too.

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