Writer's block

For the past six months, my life has been . . . complicated. Messy. Full of stuff. And even though a lot of that stuff has been hard and all of it has been challenging, some of it has certainly been good. But all of it put together has felt overwhelming, to say the least.

The least is about all I can say about it, though. Because as much as I talk and write (and I talk and write a LOT), I don’t actually share everything with everyone.

As a blogger, it’s not always easy to figure out what to say, what to share – and what to keep to myself. Sometimes it’s simple; the story isn’t mine – or isn’t only mine – to tell, so I don’t. Other times, the story is still working itself out or one I still don’t understand well enough to put into words on a printed page or screen. But other times, I work out my feelings about an issue by writing, I grow into a stronger person by writing, and I find the ability to let go of things by writing. And it’s just not always easy to figure out what kind of “time” this is.

The problem of not writing through all my feelings and experiences – when they’re not mine to share or they’re too fresh or hard or complicated to put into words just yet – is that even if I’m not writing about something, it’s still camping out in my heart and my head, taking up a whole lot of thinking and processing and feeling space. And that doesn’t leave a whole lot of space or energy for blog-appropriate subjects.

In short, it’s hard to write when life gets hard.

See, I’ve got things to say, important (to me) things. But when I sit down to write, all I can think of are the things that I can’t say. And so what comes out is, at best, inconsistent and, at worst, non-existent.

Life is finally starting to calm down a bit, or straighten out a little, or feel a little less overwhelming. Some things have gotten better, while the sting of some things has faded a little over time. And as for the chaos that has moved into my life, I guess I’m just getting used to it. So as we move into the fall (yay! fall!), I have every intention of writing more, writing deeper, writing better.

Of course, I realize by saying that, I might be tempting fate to throw a catastrophe of some sort my way. And really, no phase of life is without its challenges and even its drama. Perhaps it would be better for me to just learn how to write when life gets hard.

So let’s discuss this. If you’re a writer – of blog posts, of books, of Facebook statuses – how do you balance the private and the public? How do you decide what to share and what to keep quiet? And when you have a lot you’re not sharing, how do you keep writing anyway?

How do you keep writing when life gets hard?

This post was inspired by this post by Hollywood Housewife and this post by Sarah Markley, on top of my actual experience this year.

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