Once Upon a Time… I was a writer

cat-sleepingI’ve started writing this post more times than I care to count. And each time I come to the same conclusion: I don’t have anything to say. It’s a blank. The last time I wrote, I was a month into my new job. It’s been four months,Β the longest dry spell Musings She Wrote – and its predecessors – has ever seen.

Meanwhile at work, I’m now hurtling toward the six month mark, I’ve earned a place on my client teams and taken on increasing responsibility. Also, I’m completely tapped of creative energy.

I used to write because I felt I had some burgeoning, bubbling creative upchuck (remember ‘brain barf?’) and needed an outlet. And now… I come home and I’m exhausted. I pay my rent, I make food, I go to the gym, I work. I’m completely tapped of that creative energy. Each. And. Every. Day. And that’s not to say I’m running on empty; one of the few nuggets I retained from high school physics is that energy doesn’t die. It’s just converted into different forms of energy.

By the time I get home from the office, I’ve spent nine hours turning whatever creative energy I had into stay-awake-during-client-call energy, and into media pitches, into strategic plans and outlines, into social media campaigns.

And with what little (if any) energy remains, I convert into physical energy at the gym, where I lift heavy things repeatedly.

By the time I stumble home, I maybe cook. Or clean. If nothing else, I’ve learned to be grateful there’s not something else – a puppy or a child – in the picture. Being an adult is amazing, splendid, beautiful. And wholeheartedly the most exhausting thing ever.

At work this week, I was talking to my boss about a new writing class she’s taking at the MOMA. She’s learning how to write art critiques, just for fun – to engage the creative side of her brain that isn’t always engaged by client work.

I have kickball. I have the gym. I don’t have an art writing class. A while ago, I wrote up some steps to boost creativity, to beat writers’ block. Only, I don’t think this is writers’ block. I’m just drained. And short of illegal substances, and/or inserting a caffeine drip into my bloodstream, I don’t know how to combat it.

But I want to use my brain. I want to be creative. I want my art critique course. And I’m taking suggestions.

Step one was stumbling through the two weeks it took to write this post. I wrote something, and it wasn’t a list of tweets or a media plan or an email (actually I draft almost all my blog posts in Gmail drafts, but I digress). But I need something more. It’s bucket list time soon, and I want to look forward to some new challenge.

Calculus class? I’ll take it. Photo blogging a scenic walk every weekend? Sure. Painting? Drawing? Sommelier courses? How do y’all engage your brain? And how do you stay awake past 9 p.m.? When did naps go out of style?

7 thoughts on “Once Upon a Time… I was a writer

  1. I loved this because you are actually understanding the trials of adult life. Most of us have had to ask ourselves what am I going to do to make this life worthwhile and exciting enough to keep my attention. Going to bed early every night to then wake up and do the same things over and over like the bad version of ” ground hog day”.
    This is where the freedom of adulthood gets tricky.
    I loved this and am looking forward to reading more….:)

  2. Great blog! And a long time coming. First I would say to give yourself a break. It is a major change from school(which is hard and long and structured) to the work world (which is hard and long and structured but different). At school I had me to worry about, am I taking the right classes, are my grades good enough, etc. The jobs I held were not necessarily jobs that I wanted as a career, they were a means to an end. The end being to allow me to pay tuition, buy books, pay rent etc. But in a career – we are thinking about so many more things. Does our boss think we’re doing well, am I contributing? Is this the right career for me? And really, it is exhausting.
    Since my kids are grown I now have to find something to fill the time that they used to take πŸ™‚
    For me it’s advocacy work. I work at getting AEDs everywhere we work, play and pray. But only because an AED saved my life – so this passion was kind of a gimme. If that hadn’t happened, I would probably be volunteering with kids.
    My suggestion is to find what you have a passion for and dip your toe in to see if it doesn’t bring you more energy than you knew you had!

  3. Naps are not out of style- and if they are, I’m screwed. Glad to see you posting again, even if it was about difficulty writing. I’d give meditating a try- not yoga meditation so much as a relaxation technique to help you tune out all noise, and perhaps that’ll allow some creative juices to start working their way in. Miss you and hope to see you soon now that we’ve been in the same city for some time!

  4. Thank you all so much!! I love the inflow of ideas, and will definitely give a few a try!

    Mary – I was just accepted into the Big Brother Big Sister program and am awaiting my match with a Little. It’s an 8-hour (2 weekends) per month commitment, and I’m hoping she likes museums and parks and exploring the city!

    Minna – Let’s get brunch. I’m texting you now πŸ™‚

  5. As always, I’m absolutely floored by your writing and your insight on life. We missed you over the past four months, and I’m excited to see you back and in creative mode. You’re a phenomenal writer, and there’s a reason your blog is one of my routinely-checked-up-on sites.

    Great to have you back! Can’t wait to hear more about this exciting, amazing, overwhelming, and incredible adult life of yours.

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