The Weary Soul and Artistic Angst

The Happiness Brunch

I think sometimes we all feel like this.

The day started out promising with an early start and something to do. As I mentioned in the previous post, I ventured into the unknown by going to a brunch where a group of lovely and amazing people all discussed a chapter of The Happiness Project by Gretchin Rubin, and went over solutions to one another's blockages and triumphs. And of course there was amazing food.

I came home inspired and ready to get into writing. Since I started my new job, this is my first real chance to devote myself completely to The Novel for a day.

I've done hardly anything. I feel dead, dry, bleached.

I question my plot and my characters, then I start to question my decision to self-publish and think maybe I ought to look into agents, excepts agents preferred finished books, so I open my word processor. And stare at things. I get up, make some coffee, take a picture and post it online, get ink on my fingers as I doodle.

No, I tell myself. I'm the one who wrote a novel a month last year. I can write through anything.

I go heat up my coffee instead.

The resistance is so high in me it's palpable. The sounds of children playing outside echo and bother me like an itch, the noise of the television in the next room might as well be a chainsaw. I want silence, but I cannot think of anywhere to go, so I sit and ignore and stare at things some more.

Even the most inspirational blogs and books I can think of bring only more angst.

Today, I feel like a ghost; a cranky ghost rattling the chains of what I know I can do. I wander and sigh and sulk and feel my only real day for a solid block of writing slipping past me in a diabolical haze. It's not writer's block, it's living block, thinking block. Even the task of scooping an armload of laundry into the washer brings me to the brink of psychic collapse.

And as I reheat my coffee for a sixth time, I realize how much has happened in the last few weeks.

I quit the job I've had for the last two and a half years, and in doing so have gone from being able to stay up late into the silent hours to write, and now I get up at six each morning. As I quit my job, I worked at both places, putting in sometimes ten hours on my feet each day.

I've learned a new job in a week. I'm working with different people, kind and creative people who inspire me to fill my being with who I am instead of keeping it hidden. I've met many new faces and smiles, talked to so many people, made more coffee than I ever dreamed I would in a day.

A window of treasures at my work

And decided for the first time to go to a book group.

With all this change are so many emotions, highs and lows and anxiety and relief. The recovery from the emotional stalemate between me and my old boss, the sudden open-air feel of jumping headlong into new things, the realization that I've been keeping myself smaller by not welcoming change before this.

The way I feel today makes me think of the first few days after a new workout – the immobilizing stiffness and soreness as the body strengthens itself by healing the tiny tears all through our overdone muscles.

And I think that sometimes our souls get sore.

After a period of sudden growth and change, I think we are torn-up at the fibers of who we are. We walk around ragged and weary, our edges frayed, our emotions erratic.

Any attempt to make it do what it normally does only results in more pain, more resistance.

Just as it is difficult to move an overstrained body, it is harder to move a strained spirit. It is stiff and slow and reluctant. It wants to sleep and relax and eat sugary things, and even if it wants to create, it needs a gentle hand.

Like paint by numbers, or a set of Crayolas.

Or a blog post about what it feels like trying to write with a ragged soul.


Soon enough, I will be repaired from these changes, and stronger for them. I will have more energy and time, I'll have repaired the emotional damage done by my last job, and be better settled into the new one.

I also need to take time to reevaluate myself, my book, my goals. There are adjustments that need to be made to accommodate my new life, adjustments like when I'll write in the day, what I do with my free time.

But that will all come. For now, I only need to rest my weary soul and keep moving forward.






5 thoughts on “The Weary Soul and Artistic Angst

  1. You have so much time to do stuff PP so what if it’s not happening this second. Your very creative blogging is keeping your hand in while you settle back into a routine.
    I bought an hour-glass recently, the idea being that I would do nothing but write for hour-long chunks. It’s sitting there looking at me accusingly as I write this 😦

  2. I think most of us feel this way from time to time. Your perspective on it seems right.

    Of course, there are few things more utterly exhausting than trying “to fill my being with who I am instead of keeping it hidden.”

  3. I hope your soul feels better soon ^_^ Last summer I had this 2 week extremely intensive athletic training camp and the coach strongyly suggested ice water baths (which I didn’t take) But I did, recover, which was nice. This is still my favorite blog of all time! 🙂

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