Wherein ZZ Gives Herself a Pep Talk

I think I’m becoming close to obsessive about the fact that I can’t write. I’m experiencing a dry spell, as they say. Except for a couple of short poems I just can’t think of anything to write. Nothing is inspiring me no matter how hard I look at the world around me and I keep wondering, “why can’t I write – why, why, why?!” The harder I try the farther away it all feels until I wonder how I ever wrote anything, ever.

A few minutes ago I opened an email from Zen Habits that had a link that led me to this illuminating statement:

“Celebrate your progress instead of beating yourself up for what you haven’t acheived.”

I’ve been worrying about the lack of volume of work lately while not appreciating the progress I’ve made in a relatively short time. I’ve submitted work to eight literary magazines so far this year and have only had two rejections. Not counting one that I’m waiting to hear from, that means I’ve had five magazines publish or pending to publish my work.  When I think about it, I’m happy with my progress and I need to remember that when I begin putting pressure on myself to produce.  I began writing just for myself without a thought to sharing it with anyone and I think that’s what has made the words flow. I don’t have to produce for anyone except myself so when the worry wheels start turning I’m going to Stop it! and focus on the progress I have made. And trust that the words will return when they’re ready to be written.

6 thoughts on “Wherein ZZ Gives Herself a Pep Talk

  1. I know the feeling! I also think it is a good thing to write for yourself without thinking of sharing. If I think only of ‘sharing’ something, sometimes that inhibits me. Another thing that sometimes works for me is ‘bum glue.’ I just sit down and decide to write, no matter what, and not get up until I do. LOL. Another thing I do is read poetry of poets I admire. That sometimes inspires me. I agree though about celebrating your progress. It sounds as if you have done well. Hang in there. Your words will find their way out again when they are ready.


  2. Thanks, Mary. I actually have been reading other poets for inspiration lately. I’m not one of those people who can sit down and write for the sake of putting words on paper, though. I kind of consider that the equivalent of people who talk and talk and talk and say nothing. I hope that doesn’t sound arrogant! 🙂

    Dick, sounds like you’re submitting to the wrong zines! Your poetry is so wonderful I can’t believe anyone would reject it! Are you submitting to U.S. markets too or just British?


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