Hello again, Adair Heitmann here writing to you today about a writer’s life in the real world. Over the course of my careers I’ve had a rare opportunity, one that allowed me to write full-time. The joy of it! The accomplishment! The focus! Isn’t that every writer’s dream? I was lucky enough to live that dream for a while, but now I am on the other side of the gift. With a new job and other responsibilities I am going through writer’s withdrawal.
As writers, we can become addicted to being a writer. This morning I was in a blue funk, I attributed it to the fact that while I need and like my good job, I miss the time I used to have to write.
Luckily, I am a member of and lead the Wednesday Writing Critique Group at the Fairfield Public Library. Our group meets twice a month and the accountability makes me put pen to paper and fingers to computer keys, no matter what. Our group is eclectically diverse, we have fiction, non-fiction, and poetry writers as well as writers creating professional blogs, writing op-ed pieces, plays and journals as a legacy for a child. In the past I have completed full manuscripts, both fiction and non-fiction, articles and personal essays. What I am working on now is the art of haiku writing. The traditional Japanese formal structure is challenging and the work is limited to 17 syllables. I like the puzzle of it, seeing the emotion that can be conveyed in a few words and creating haiku keeps my writing brain active.
When, as it did this morning, my writer’s malaise cuts too deep I use another technique to lift my mood. I go to my collection of quotes. This morning the quote I randomly pulled out of my dog-eared manila folder is by Helen Keller, “No pessimist ever discovered the secrets of the stars, or sailed to an uncharted land, or opened a new heaven to the human spirit.”
Her words are a soothing balm. They embody the power of the written word. That majestic ability to reach across time and space to comfort and breathe life back into a tired soul.
What techniques do you use to keep your spirits going as a writer? I’d love to hear about them here.
Until next time, keep on writing.