Saturday, July 21, 2012

Fill In the Blank

There's an entry here, half-started at the moment, that I began on the topic of the "Artist's Statement." Said statement is supposedly the answer to "Why do I [insert whatever it is you do here]?" While I do plan on answering that, eventually, if only because I don't like leaving things half-written - longer than a decade anyway - it did get me thinking. When I go to fill in the blank, it will be with "write" because, as far as artistic endeavors go, that's all I've got, despite ideas I had otherwise once upon a time and my parents' willingness to frame and hang those efforts.

But lately, I've had good cause to question that. Do I get to fill in the blank anymore?

Now, don't worry, this isn't going to turn into some morose rambling about writer's block or how I have no time or am out of ideas or some such. Especially not the latter. Ideas are still aplenty. I just haven't written much over the past year or so. Longer, if I'm being honest about things. The "last worked on" dates my laptop are downright discouraging.

Some of that is personal. I know some writers turn to the craft in times of struggle, and find solace in what they put on the page. Others don't. I am clearly in the latter category, and it's been a rough year. Rough couple of years, actually.

I won't bore you with the details. Suffice it to say I was not hit by a van.

At any rate, the only thing I've written in the past six months was a single short story. A couple of thousand words. I'd puttered around with other stories, and the current WIP, but that's the extent of things.

Which doesn't seem like enough.

And yet... and yet it was something new. Not something I had lying around that I fixed up. It was an idea that I'd had percolating for a long time. An idea that I finally found cause to do something with, prompted by a contest. (Which I did not win, but no matter.) So I wrote it, in a fairly short space, and though it needs a little bit more polishing, it was finished. Something new and complete.

Is one short story in six months a lot of output? No. Do I need to be writing more than I am? Definitely yes. I know I need to get back into the routine of things. I need to find a time that I can set aside and stick to it. Which is mostly a matter of deliberately doing so, because I do have the time in my schedule. Maybe not a lot each day, but that's not the point. (I also need to be doing the same thing with my exercise routine, but that seems a little bit easier to get back into somehow.)

But, it is output. And I still have the impulse to write. And I still have ideas. And until those things stop, I think I can still fill in the blank.

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