This Post is Empty

Today, the day that I have publicly proclaimed as the first official day of my life as a writer, I do not want to write.

I don’t mean that I cannot think of anything to write about. I don’t mean that I have writer’s block. I don’t even mean that I can’t get exactly what I feel onto the page and that it is frustrating. I have felt all of those things before at one time or another. Today, all I feel is resistance. My jaw is set against it. Yeah, I can feel my jaw tight and determined.

The logical part of my brain is pleading. I can feel that as well.

“It doesn’t have to be good!”

“It doesn’t have to change anyone’s life!”

“It doesn’t even have to be anything about Haiti, Nepal or the fact that you are blowing your life wide open!”

“Just get something down.”

“Just write.”


But it is almost noon and I have cleaned the kitchen, finished some financial stuff that has been hanging over my head, I have made appointments and filled in more of my to do list. And all this was done with an undeniable air of defiance.

I am not your monkey.

And I don’t even know with whom I am fighting. Whose monkey am I not being exactly? There is no outside pressure on me to perform. I have no deadline pressures. I have no authority figure over me.

I am too new at this to know what to do with myself when I am actively and aggressively resisting something I want to do. How does one talk themselves down? And, seriously, what am I to do with the insolent child of myself, pouting with her ball in her arms, threatening to take it home?




16 thoughts on “This Post is Empty

  1. hmm this comes intuitive here … the seeds you planted yesterday will grow tomorrow …. emptiness is maybe the best condition for abundance … if the monkey’s name is brain or mind or ego, maybe you want to give it a lovely smile and tell it that you are not going to take it serious?

    With Love, Petra

  2. It seems to me it may be a little bit too late to not write. You have already broken you through the barrier. You wrote this post. Now the question is, will you write more today?

  3. I applaud you for living your life out loud in a big way. YOU will be an inspiration for others; blazing a trail of truth and authenticity. Bravo!

  4. Writers write. Set aside one hour a day (same time every day) when you are at your best to write. Then the rest of the day will not be spent torturing yourself to write. If you write after the hour, great…if you don’t…great!

    • Teresa! hi!

      After a morning of hacking away at nothing, I took a bike ride today, at the insistence of my partner. And it felt amazing and freeing. Yes. You are right. I need to interject some levity into my experience.

  5. Jeromy nailed it. Ignore her. And don’t be seduced into being charmed by her.

    On a practical note, I find that I write more consistently (in terms of voice, focus, etc.) and regularly (in terms of time – every day, every morning, etc.) when I have a defined “project” that I’ve scratched out – even if I’m not sure that project will ever become anything resembling a book or anything else concrete. For example, a project might be “Lessons from Istanbul” – and would be a collection of pieces about my travel to Turkey. Or, “Memories of Childhood Religion” – and would be autobiographical, reflection pieces on being raised Pentecostal. Or, “Quail Fried Rice” which is a novel I’m currently writing. My point is that, instead of saying “I’m going to write every day and be a writer” – which is superfantastic, by the way, but which leaves you with a kind of void some days (like today) – you can add another sentence which says ” . . . .and this month I’m writing about Haiti, (or about expensive briefcases, or whatever).”

    Just advice from my experience and what works for me as a writer. What I’ve also learned is that you have to figure out for yourself what works and doesn’t work for you as a writer.

    You rock – even now.

    • Your counsel is extraordinarily welcomed, Jill. This is helpful. It makes sense that the entire universe of subjects…or even the past two years of subjects might just be wrestling around in my brain for air.

      And, at this point, I will try anything.

  6. Kim,

    I was thinking sometimes it’s easier to write about more trivial or historical stuff than the elephant in the room(e.g. recent Haiti experiences). Got any tidbits from the past? Keep ’em coming.A big lesson I learned is it’s easier to write 1,000 words about something small and random frequently than an opus irregularly, the practise will slowly lead you to your own Moby Dick. Of course I should have followed that advice myself… 🙂

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