I haven’t written anything since I turned in my thesis almost a year ago. I’ve missed writing A LOT, but I haven’t been upset or worried about it; any time I go through an intense writing experience (Clarion, my thesis year at Bard, my year off for writing), my creativity goes away for a while. I’m not sure if it’s that the well runs dry and needs refilling, or whether the critiques and rejections take their toll, or what, but I’ve learned to accept it and to trust that it’ll come back when it’s good and ready. I can check in with myself every now and then and see if I’m ready to start writing again, but if I’m not, pushing myself does more harm than good.
I’m frustrated that it’s been a longer hiatus than most. It’s understandable–the day I turned in the thesis, I started applying for jobs, the job search ended after one month and I started packing, moved across the country, started a new job, moved again, went to a conference, got sick, had my whole family stay with me for a week–you get the picture. Still, even though I’ve had good reason to focus on other things, I still miss writing. It hurts to feel like there’s nothing going on inside, no curiosity, no discoveries, no part of myself that I want to savor and no part that feels worth sharing with other people.
But this morning, I woke up and decided that it was about time I researched Admiral Nelson, whom I’ve been interested in off and on for a while now, so I started hunting for good biographies. I have no idea whether I’d use the research for anything, but it felt so good to be curious again, to want to explore something and geek out over random knowledge. And then, on the ride to work, I turned off NPR and just daydreamed. Again, no sparks large enough to sustain a story, no real original ideas, but I needed–wanted–to be in my own head. I don’t know if any of this is going to amount to anything, and I don’t want to put too much weight on it. But it feels good even just for what it is.