I’d Rather be Writing



Today I thought of a bumper sticker that had once made me chuckle.

“I’d rather be fishing.”

Maybe you’ve seen this one too:

“I’d rather be golfing.”

My personal favorite?

“I’d rather be writing.”

I love reading the words of others, even when they are silly. I love when I see a quote or a phrase and it makes an everlasting impression on my mind. I once kept a journal filled with quotes, lyrics, Scriptures; all words another person had written. I humbly jotted them down, hoping the inspiration would leap on me through my pen.

“The desire to write grows with writing.” ~Desiderius Erasmus

Maybe if I truly devoted myself more to writing, I wouldn’t constantly feel that ache to write. I get annoyed when my thoughts are interrupted, only then to feel guilty for my annoyance. The world can’t stop because I’ve had a brilliant thought.

That is the part I struggle with. When I want to write, darn it, I want to write. I used to have a lot more time to write and I’m slightly bitter that the situation has changed. Even now, I am frustrated by all the stories I want to bang out on my laptop, and just jotting down the idea isn’t always enough.

“I write down everything I want to remember. That way, instead of spending a lot of time trying to remember what it is I wrote down, I spend the time looking for the paper I wrote it down on.” ~Beryl Pfizer

I’ve had to challenge myself to make more time for writing, but some days the words fight to stay inside my head. (Why don’t they want to come out?! We always have a lovely time.) I asked some writer friends to encourage me and one suggested something I already knew but had neglected; read. Read a book, read a poem, read a funny story, read a bumper sticker; just read something. Even if it’s the ten year-old journal filled with the scribbles of a wanna-be-writer.

“Writing is one of the few professions in which you can psychoanalyze yourself, get rid of hostilities and frustrations in public, and get paid for it.” ~Octavia Butler

Even if I’m not being paid to write right now, my plan is to make that a reality one day. (Did anyone else get a kick out of “write right?” Just me? Grammatically, it’s horrible, but that’s okay.)

Unfortunately, GoodBlogs is no longer paying for anyone’s words. I sometimes stare at my job with the eyes of a restless artist, wishing “the real world” wasn’t so scary and demanding. Wishing I could abandon the ship so I could stay home and write. Wishing I had the courage to dive head first into the waves.

 “Writing is thinking on paper.” ~William Zinsser

That one truly spoke to me. Some may call me a daydreamer; some may say I don’t pay attention. They would probably all be right. Sometimes I am so entranced by the words inside my head it’s hard to pay attention to the world going on outside. But I can’t neglect the outside world too much.

“Writing, I think, is not apart from living. Writing is a kind of double living. The writer experiences everything twice. Once in reality and once in the mirror which waits always before or behind.” ~Catherine Drinker Bowen

I get frustrated when I can’t write the words down on paper or type them into a document, but I’m always writing inside my head. Even when I can’t get the words out, just juggling them around helps ease that constant yearning.

“Writing is a form of therapy; sometimes I wonder how all those, who do not write, compose or paint can manage to escape the madness, the melancholia, the panic fear, which is inherent in a human condition.” ~Graham Greene

Therapy! Goodness knows I need that. And just when I’m about to fully envelop myself in the blackness of self-doubt, I’ll throw in just one more quote.

“Every writer I know has trouble writing.” ~Joseph Heller

All is well in the world again. I am never alone, even on the days when I feel it the most. Every other writer has struggled and every other writer has drawn inspiration from the words of their peers.

So, I write. I press forward and write even when my fingers don’t want to. I drown out the noises and try to only listen to the click-clacking of the keys. I think of all the writing projects in my head and I know they will get done … well, the ones that are meant to be.

I will always love to write about writing. It is the ultimate inspiration and my proven cure of the dreaded WB (writer’s block). I am working on a new blog (details coming soon!) and I’m very excited about it. Instead of letting myself feel overwhelmed I will embrace every writing opportunity I have.

And when my fingers are tired, I’ll remember the advice I got from Shawna. When the words won’t come (or when the words that do are total crap) I will take more time to read.

Sometimes the best inspiration for a writer is another writer.


12 thoughts on “I’d Rather be Writing

  1. “Instead of letting myself feel overwhelmed I will embrace every writing opportunity I have.”

    Embrace it even when anxiety sets in and you think, “Can I really publish this? Am I leaving myself vulnerable?” Because you can and will become a better, stronger, and more empowered person – and writer!

    • Jen says:

      Thanks Mysti! I keep writing about writing because it seems to help me, and the fun little lessons always seem to help in the other (chaotic) parts of my life. 🙂

  2. Shawna says:

    You made me laugh at the end. : ) … It is very frustrating to feel like writing (or expressing yourself in any artistic way) but know that you don’t have time, energy, etcetera to make it happen. Might I suggest choosing one night a week for staying up way too late to write. Even though you should be sleeping, just give yourself to your expression instead. You’ll survive the next day somehow. And the lost sleep will be worth it.

    • Jen says:

      More good advice from Shawna! I may have to suck it up and stay up later. It’s hard because I already don’t sleep well sometimes and always wake up with pain (from the FM). But no pain, no gain!

      Oh, your advice had me reading more Poe, which is ALWAYS a good thing. 🙂

  3. immasweetiepie says:

    Really interesting concept and I guess writer’s block is like breathing, we all have to do it to survive the greatness that is just below the surface of our consciousness! Well executed and I believe that you are fixing to ( southern slang) embark on something really brilliant! So keep digging in imma following you!

  4. anne katherine says:

    Can’t wait to hear about your new venture!
    It is so hard especially when all your great ideas happen when you are somehow far away from or you just can’t get to pen and paper (or keyboard) – as ALWAYS happens to me. Because if it did not I’d surely be on the bestseller’s list by now :).
    But rest assured…you are far from alone. Just whatever you do keep going and DON’T STOP!

    • Jen says:

      I’m sorry for the delay in responding! I agree with you, I too feel that I would be on the bestseller’s list by now – if I would just sit down and make myself write more! (I originally wrote could but changed it to would … I need to make the choice!) I hope to update both blogs more often, and people like you inspire me SO much to keep going. Thank you!!

  5. Paula says:

    “… but I’m always writing inside my head.” You too? Lol I remember being a kid and wondering if I would have to stop when I grew up. 🙂 And I can definitely relate to not being able to pay attention because of the words in my head! That is why I love blogging so much, I can get those words out of my head. 🙂

  6. “I write down everything I want to remember. That way, instead of spending a lot of time trying to remember what it is I wrote down, I spend the time looking for the paper I wrote it down on.” ~Beryl Pfizer

    That was my favorite of your quotes — I do this all the time!

    I love the idea of always writing, even when you do it in your head. Shawna wrote about dream writing once . . . I do that too 😛

    You are certainly not alone. We all definitely have our moments when the words won’t come out and when we struggle . . . It’s like raising a child (or a couple of energetic pit bulls). You want them to do something and they’re just not going to do it on their own. You have to coax, coddle, be stern, love and cherish and eventually they’ll listen . . . and so will your words 🙂

    Writing about writing is my favorite thing to do when I can’t think of what else to write about . . . and sometimes even when I can!

    • Jen says:

      Dayle, I LOVE your analogy of writing being like children or, in my case, pit bulls. It’s so true and I never looked at it that way. I make an effort to take care of the dogs and I need to do the same with my writing. I’m glad you also enjoy writing about writing. Sometimes I feel like I’m taking the easy way out, but at least I’m writing something!

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