I’ve lost it and although I have spent a long time searching, I just can’t seem to find it: The magic has disappeared.

Do you ever have writing times when words seem to appear out of nowhere? They pour onto the screen or paper without effort, not quite in perfect formation but almost. When it’s time to edit, the wrong words are easy to find. They scream loud and clear. We pick them out and toss them away, leaving room for the right words to slide obediently into place.

I’ve written stories that I love. (Am I allowed to admit that?) Someone sprinkled a handful of magic dust over them when I wasn’t looking because I'm sure I could never have written them by myself. They make my spirits soar because somehow I’ve conveyed the feelings in my heart or the thoughts in my mind exactly as I’d hoped. When I read those singing words, I feel connected with my writing self. I understand her.

All my recent stories are rather ordinary. My words feel forced. They lack the magic spark. I could press ‘delete’ and send those posts on their way and have no regrets.

Will the magic will return? Will I ever write another piece I am totally happy with?

I rearrange my blog. I make it look different. I rearrange things a bit more. I highlight my best posts. I tell myself I do this for others, but deep down I know I don't. I do it for me. To give me hope. I say: “Look! You used to be able to write. Maybe one day the spark will return.”

And in the meantime, I post mediocre stories or nothing at all.

I know a time will come when I'll once again feel excited about writing. My writing life isn’t really over. But what does a blogger do while waiting for inspiration? How many rather ordinary posts can one reader take? I suppose it’s just as well I don’t have many followers. It doesn’t really matter if they say: “I used to read her blog, but her posts haven't been so interesting recently. So I unfollowed. I went elsewhere.”

This week I read Pray, Write, Grow by Ed Cyzewski. I didn't learn anything new from this relatively short read, but it was good to be reminded of these points:
  • We need to write primarily for ourselves. 
  • Writing and prayer are bound up with each other: When we write, we also think and pray and so we end up growing as people. 
  • The more we pray the better we become at writing. The more we write the deeper our prayer lives become.
Maybe I need to write and pray more.

So I’ve been writing. Not here on my blog. Not on my computer. I have a thick exercise book I’ve been scrawling in at odd moments. (Sometimes words flow better with paper and pen.) I’m not worrying about making everything look pretty. I’m not even worrying about my choice of words. It’s the thoughts that are important at this stage. Later? Maybe something will happen. 

Could the spark be reignited? Will my words suddenly take off at a roaring speed? Will they carry me to exciting places, even dangerous ones? Perhaps they’ll make me grin with delight or cry as they stab me with pain. 

If they do, I’ll have made it back. The magic will have returned. And I know I won't be able to stop myself from charging over to this blog, like before, to share my stories. So that's why I don't delete my blog. It might look abandoned, but it's not.

One day, my words might open their mouths and sing once more.

Post a Comment

  1. I have two comments, actually, and they don't seem connected at all (to each other).. so here they both are..!

    First, I want to shout in great big letters that you have written EXACTLY what I've felt about writing lately. I don't seem to be able to write anywhere, not even with pencil and paper. I do the same things you do... rearrange blogs, work with pictures, and now and then struggle with a post that really does need to be written to go with the 'last' one or whatever. But the spark is not there and the words feel absolutely forced and if wonder if my writing is gone. The picture you put with this post is perfect for the feeling.

    Second comment (not connected to the first) is... Sue!!! Do you not see it?!" Do you not see the magic, the spark, that is right here in this very post?!! You need not worry.

    Whether you can see it or not, your words have opened their mouths, and they sing once more.

    1. Nancy,

      Singing words... That might sound like I have rather an inflated opinion of my writing. I thought about that as I was about to hit 'publish' but hit it anyway. Now I know I didn't really need to go into explanations and apologies for lack of humility. You understood! You feel that way too? I hadn't noticed your forced words at all. Writing is hard work at times, isn't it? I suppose we can't always expect the magic to flow. (But that would be nice!)

      Your second comment... No, I didn't see it. By the time I wrote this post, I didn't care if the words were wrong. I just wanted to express my frustration. Nancy, you have made me feel so much better. Thank you so much for taking the time to write this encouraging comment. I actually think I might have another story brewing in my mind. (One I feel excited about!)

    2. I agree with Nancy -- I thought these words sang, or sparkled, or did whatever inspired words do -- oh, they reached my heart and resonated! Yes, they sang....So that I thought what you wrote didn't apply to how you felt while you wrote this! Isn't that funny! But writing from the heart, even when the heart feels dull, makes all the difference, I think...
      Beautiful post, Sue!
      Suzie "nobody" Andres :)

  2. The photo is fascinating. It's conjures up so many thoughts and images of decay and resurrection. I have a feeling that the words will flow more easily, soon 😊 In the meantime, I agree with Nancy - this post was rather a good read for someone who is only writing rather ordinary posts!πŸ˜‰

    1. Vicky,

      Oh yes, the photo is very interesting! I feel very sad as I look at it, thinking about all the grandeur that used to be. Resurrection? Yes, as I look, I hope someone will care enough to come along and make that piano sing again in a restored room.

      I've been telling myself I haven't got time to write for this blog, and although time is indeed short, the real problem is lack of excitement. Posts have been difficult to write. Maybe you are right: the words will start to flow and my blog will come alive again! I'm glad you enjoyed my post.

      Thank you so much for stopping by!

  3. Hi, Sue,

    I know the feeling well. At the beginning of the year, I promised myself to post every day on my blogs, regardless of how mundane, because I was, and continue to be, in a writing funk. It happens. The writing funk. Some call it writer's block. Some call it procrastination. For once in my life, I can write what I want. Yet, I don't feel inspired or motivated to pick up any of the writing ideas and projects that I put on hold. Sometimes, I think, maybe my writing days are over. That's what I'm retiring from. I know that's not true. I write because that's who I am. Lately my writing is through my photos, my cooking, my this's and that's. I figure if I keep plugging away, a spark will ignite into something bigger than my blogs.

    I can tell you're plugging away, Sue. Your blog is alive. Even when you write a post that it is not. There's nothing boring about other people's "mundanes".

    A hug full of words to you. Make it two. :-)

    Su-sieee! Mac

    1. Susie,

      It's so good to have friends who understand! I don't have to go into great detail because you know what I'm talking about.

      I think you are doing so well posting every day. That's a huge commitment and it would be so easy to give up especially when you don't feel very excited about writing. Yes, we need to keep writing to push through the low patches.

      It's funny how we scrawl down writing ideas which we feel very excited about and then when we have lots of time to work on them, our interest has waned. We seem to need more than time in order to produce good writing.

      You have given me an idea! Perhaps I should get my camera out too and tell stories with it. I've been neglecting my photography and haven't learned anything new in ages. And cooking... I have lots of recipes I've been meaning to share. Each recipe has its own story. I wonder if you have ever thought about putting together a cookbook: recipes and associated stories.

      Suzie, thank you so much for your hugs. Your words have encouraged me greatly. Sending love and hugs back to you! (That laughing emoticon is making me smile!)


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