Some days it’s really hard to write. I know I should do a blog post, but for one reason or another, it seems like a monumental, near-impossible task.


1. A Good Book

If I’m caught up in a gripping book, I have a lot of trouble pulling myself away to write something of my own. This is partly because nothing I write sounds nearly as good as what I’m reading, and that’s depressing. I also get so caught up in a story that I don’t want to return to reality. For instance, I’ve been reading “Cutting for Stone” by Abraham Verghese for the past few days. It’s a whopping 600-pager that I absolutely inhaled and I feel as if I’ve been walking around with my head in a fog, lost in Ethiopia and unable to return fully to Canada.

2. Too Much Housework

When the house is a disaster, I find it hard to concentrate. Though I’m good at ignoring those tasks when I have precious time alone, once both kids are around, the pile of dishes and the laundry basket and the food on the floor under the table become glaring eyesores that I need to deal with before writing anything.

3. Chaos

Of course chaos is pretty much the default state for this household, and I’m fairly adept at tuning it out, but when both kids start whining or yelling for various reasons, it’s impossible to focus on organizing my thoughts and explaining a viewpoint. Sometimes they climb on top of me and I’ll try to type a word while two sets of hands jab at the keyboard, always with one little voice pleading, “Please can I watch Thomas?” At that point, I flip down the laptop, stand up, and give them my full attention because literary creativity is at its all-time low then.

4. Emotional Overload

There are often times I feel so strongly about a subject that I don’t trust myself to blog about it. I don’t want to come across as too intense and scare off my readers! For example, last week I read Khaled Hosseini’s “A Thousand Splendid Suns” and felt a tight knot in my throat for days afterwards. The injustices faced by those Afghani women had me scribbling pages of enraged thoughts, and although I was dying to share them on my blog, I know I need to calm down before writing effectively about the book.

5. Discouragement

I love blogging, but sometimes I feel discouraged, which I suppose is normal. There are days when I wonder, “What’s the point? Where’s this even going?” Those are the days when coming up with a topic and writing any thoughts on it feel like pulling teeth.

Today is one of those rare days that encompasses almost all of the above! Yay. Too much good reading has led to mental drift, the kitchen is a disaster, the kids are wild after days of being cooped up in a snowstorm, I’m feeling strongly about female injustice in the world, and I wonder what I’m doing with my dreams of a writing career. Is it all just a pipe dream? Maybe it is, but then maybe it isn’t, and there’s only one way I can find out: just keep trudging. After all, in the wise words of Robert Hass, “It’s hell writing, but it’s hell not writing. The only tolerable state is just having written.”



4 thoughts on “impediments

  1. Ugh writer’s block is terrible! I usually write a bunch of really sorry blog posts when I’m like that. And then I regret it. That’s been happening a lot recently. Blogging is great for unclogging the creative arteries though. Forcing yourself through a blog post can sometimes clear your mind up enough so that you can write a good essay or piece of fiction afterward. It’s definitely worth it.

  2. I feel just like you somedays too. Though I know once I have written a post for my blog then I will feel a nice little sense of achievement. Still very hard to sit down at the keyboard though! 😀

  3. Peaks and troughs…
    I am amazed how much writing you get done with such a young family – and it’s proper, well written stuff. When mine were little, it was all just scribbles in notebooks!
    When I started my blog I had intended it to be a bit more serious, basically all about lilfe in Qatar. Then I read someone else advising just to write whatever you please, whenever you fancy, so hence it’s all a bit more random and less jounalistic than I originally intended. I’ve discovered that the older I get, the better I am at taking the pressure off myself to do well! x

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