Friday, October 17, 2014

Creative Bleeding


I have been a blogging slug lately.  And I'm unhappy about it.

I miss writing.  What I've been doing since July is editing my book, which is really editing pictures, because my book is full of pictures.  Do you know how long it takes to edit a batch of photographs?

At least three months, even though it feels like forever.  I have to confess, my book is becoming a bit of a tyrant.  If I'm working on it, I'm working on it.  If I'm not working on it, it whines from the recesses of my brain, why aren't you working on me? As I drift off to sleep at night, I suddenly get 53 ideas on how to rework a chapter.  At's annoying.

Writing is a strange life.  If you love it, you have to do it.  You can't not do it.  (I think that's how you know you're a writer.)  At the same time, it's a brain drain.  The actual writing skills, the creativity, the editing, the losing material because the computer crashes and you have to start over, the mental gymnastics when the words don't's exhausting.  I know my brain is fit and thin, because it gets a workout every day.  I can't say the same thing about my behind.

Hemingway said, “There is nothing to writing. All you do is sit down at a typewriter and bleed.”

Oh my word, how true!  It looks easy, because you're just sitting there.  My husband just sits there when he's playing Angry Birds.  To an unknowing observer, we're just two slugs sitting there - but my brain is bleeding!  It's cranking and grinding and stretching, and it wears me out. Only another writer can understand why it can be so draining just sitting at the computer (bleeding.)

Having said all that, I continue to plant myself at my computer and bleed - daily.  Because, I love it.  It completes me. (Thank you, Jerry McGuire.)  It transports me and uplifts me and aggravates me all at the same time.  It's similar to motherhood (I wrote about that HERE), which is another bleeding love.

I had hoped my book would be published by Christmas.  That's not going to happen.  I've had computer issues, and health issues, and my dad has had health issues, and life has rolled right along like no one is trying to finish writing a book.  I really have to fight for writing time; I have to say no to some things, and lose sleep more often than not, and skip healthy meals more often than I want to admit.  (Who has time to roast a chicken and saute veggies when there are granola bars and M&Ms to be had?)

The writing bug has hold of me.  It's in my bones.  It's in my mother's bones, too, so I can blame her for all this wonderful bleeding. She published a book at 84, so I guess I can wait until next Christmas to (hopefully) publish mine.

Plugging away...


  1. I could have written this post, Mare! SO true, ALL of it! Especially that thing about the book being a tyrant- it’s almost like a form of insanity. It pulls you out of bed in the middle of the night to scribble notes on anything handy and makes you stare off into space lost in thought at inopportune times...

  2. "If you love it, you have to do it. You can't not do it." So true!

    And I've found a useful app for the middle of the night, or otherwise inconvenient, writing thoughts. I use Evernote, which let's me write on my phone, sync it with my computer. It helps me keep track of thoughts, grocery lists, to-do lists, etc.



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