One of my closest friends, and I’m talking on and off the computer, is Nichole from in these small moments. She was one of my roomies at BlogHer’11, I tweet with her everyday, chat by email or Skype several times a week, and also have an occasional phone call with her. We are close. We know each other’s secrets and the good as well as the bad.
In other words, I trust her completely.
So when we were lounging in our room at BlogHer, we were talking about blogging and writing and where we see our blogs going and all of that fun stuff. And she said something that continues to resonate with me: “Natalie, will you do me a favor? Will you please write something from the heart? I miss your writing.”
I was surprised at first because I post almost everyday! I write everyday! But I promised her that I would, and have been thinking about it ever since. But I didn’t “get” what she meant until tonight.
Tonight, a couple of weeks after BlogHer and things have settled back down in Bloggyland, I decided to sit down and write from the heart. But here’s the weird part: I have nothing to write.
That’s not true exactly…I just don’t know how to write from the heart right now. I looked back over the past few months to see when the last time I wrote something just for me was. And you know what? It was at the end of May.
Well that’s not true exactly, either. I have written a couple of guest posts very close to my heart, and I have written about how I met Jason and I have my Down The Aisle (shameless plug: there’s still time to link up your favorite wedding photo!) link up going on right now. Those things are very important to me, too.
BUT…the last time I wrote something just for the sake of writing? For the love of it? To release some of my new found creativity? End of May. That was the last time I wrote something for the red dress club’s red writing hood prompts. And then it hit me…I know why I haven’t written something for just me…from my heart, just for the sake of writing and the joy it brings me. Because I’m afraid to.
You see, that prompt back in May was to “write a short piece – 600 words max – that begins with the words, “This was absolutely the last time” and ends with “She was wrong.” And I did write a fictional piece for the prompt titled Just One More Time, but it was not the original piece I wrote for the prompt.
The original piece was dark, and the topic was an ugly one that nobody wants to hear about, and it was “good” Nichole told me, but my blog was not the right place to publish it. Two other trusted friends, Cheryl from Mommy Pants and Tonya from Letters for Lucas told me the same thing.
That scared me. Because I always used to joke that I wrote about such dark things but I didn’t know why. And that piece was SO dark that I was disgusted by it and scared of why I even felt the need to write it. Why can’t I write about sunshine and rainbows? Why are my pieces always about death and murder and bad mothers and abuse?
And so here we are. Sure I can write about the daily things in my life, and tell you about blogging and social media, and even an occasional post has popped up about my past (and most of those things are happy memories!), but I am afraid to write fiction – to put pieces of my heart and soul on paper. Why? I don’t want my heart to be seen as being black or to be judged for the dark corners of my mind.
Then there’s the writer’s block, too. The prompt for this week’s red writing hood is “You must begin your story with the words “We had to leave immediately” and end it with “And then we realized we were already home.” I started it, and promptly trashed it because it was crap. Nothing is coming anymore. No words. No brief glimpses of a scene in my mind (that’s how I was writing before this happened).
So I’m asking you, from the heart, what do I do?! How do I get past this…I don’t know what to call it…writing slump? I want to write, there’s just nothing there. My heart and head are void of the words and descriptions and pictures that used to fill them.