Friends, troubles,horses, and Cool Hand Luke.

To make a long, and personal story, short: I’ve really been feeling overwhelmed and battered this week (battered in an emotional/spiritual way, not in the “my wife beats me” way :P). My friend, colleague, and mentor  (WACATTACKAUM) said something in her blog that I’d like to hit on. She says the following in her blog post about Cool Hand Luke and writing courses:

  • “You know this: you have to want to write. I can’t make students do it; you can’t make other people do it; if you teach, you can’t make your students do it. You can assign it, but students may or may not do it. Sure, they might do it, but they might not put their hearts into it. That’s the like the subtle difference between heartbreak and defeat. “

I’ve been heartbroken lately, but I haven’t been defeated. And that part about having to want to write: absolutely true. I’m a creative writer (that’s been on a looooong dry spell admittedly) and let me tell you, there are days when you don’t feel like it. You just don’t want to worry with it. But when there’s a story in your heart or your head that wants to get out: you just write. It sucks. You want to go walking, or jogging, or just surfing youtube. But when it’s all said and done and there’s some text in front of you, something you created, you’re proud.

I’m not saying everyone can sympathize with that; I know some of you, heck, most of you, aren’t creative writers. But, it’s the idea of just having to have dogged determination and stubbornness that gets me. When negativity and bad things get you down, you dust yourself off and keep going. Writing makes me feel like that sometimes My soul has been sore lately and maybe I just needed to get off my woe-is-me horse and get back onto the saddle of my life-won’t-keep-me-down horse. 🙂

9 Comments

Filed under Daily thought(s)

9 responses to “Friends, troubles,horses, and Cool Hand Luke.

  1. I’m sorry you are having a rough time. I don’t consider myself a writer, but I kind of get what you are saying. It is hard to sit down and write an essay etc. when you don’t feel like it. You feel like it isn’t your best effort, that you are just going through the motions. Yet there are times when everything seems to click and you feel as if you are willing on to something. I guess you have to think back to those better times when you are struggling to write. I know you are an AWESOME writer (I heard you read some of your work in a class a few semesters ago) so you must try to write for us! 🙂

    • Thanks! I suppose what I was trying to say, though rambling all over it, is that what WACATTACK said about having to keep your head down to write is the same idea behind life. You have to keep pushing and pushing even when you don’t want to. 🙂 Again, thank you. 🙂

  2. should read “really on to something” not sure where willing came from haha

  3. Through reading my book for my book review, which is a slow, painstaking process which is going to cost me a few days on my deadline (past the extension), I’ve been given a quick study of Rhetoric from Aristotle to the 20th century. In this quick history of rhetoric there are many discussions of “techne” or art within writing. Questions about the combination of natural ability and education along with the role of “art” within writing.

    I think it is a art. It reminds me allot of playing the tuba. Sometimes, over the many years, I’ve hated the thing. Especially when I was a Performance major. I’ve even thrown the thing once when I busted my lips practicing. But eventually I would hear music that would make the hair on my arms stand up and then I would want to go back and play, to feel that from my music instead of someone else’s.

    Writing is the same. Sometimes I wish I could just throw it and storm off. It had turned into a bad relationships. It was hot and heavy, then came the fighting, and sometimes even that made it better. The makeup keeps getting less and less satisfying. Eventually, you just end up in the same room, hating eachother.

    But the beauty of it, is this “art” can transform and modulate, and can never truly be discovered in its entirety. When you want to punch babies wishing you could punch writing, just go find something new. Try to find some unexplored country and bury your head deep in it. Remember, if you not enjoying it, its going to show.

    I was right there with ya last week. So just know you got people going through this with you. Solidarity, brother. It’s what makes us strong.

  4. I’M A CREATIVE WRITER, SIR! Okay, I am totally yelling at you in the first sentence, but it’s to get your attention. Now, then. Where was I? Oh, yes! Sometimes negativity is exactly what I need to get me writing. Actually, that’s usually the first thing I want to do, but I don’t write in a “pity journal” saying, “Woe is me!” I write stories or start writing a story that makes me feel better. Usually the character is a in a worse situation than myself and that helps me realize I shouldn’t complain.

  5. wacmrsl

    Chin up! Pencil up! Soul up! I know that life can suck sometimes (especially when you are a grown up) but the only way to get back at it (life) is to succeed in whatever it is you are trying to accomplish!

  6. I completely get what you are saying in relationship to writing and life. We all go through slumps and feel like nothing is going right or will ever go right. But like you said you just have to push through and keep going. Reminds me of a song we sing in church called Press My Way Through by Neal Roberson. So just keep pushing — don’t give up those creative juices will start to flowing again in no time! 🙂

  7. Your piece inspired me. When we are weary, we can rest and freshen up! I am really inspired by your references to Cool Hand Luke. You and Professor Woodworth saw something in it that I had previously missed. I, too have heard great things about your writing, so keep the faith.

  8. I like how you picked up on WACATTACKAUM’s comment about heartbroken versus defeated. We have all felt heartbroken at one time or another over different things. I’ve even felt I was defeated, only to see that I can’t let other things or people defeat me. I may remain heartbroken for a while, but not defeated. Pressed down, but not crushed. I think that’s why writing is so important. I can express myself through writing and learn as I write. Later, I can come back to what I’ve written and see the progress I’ve made since I first set those words down. I am renewed.

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