Writing slumps are not a fun place to be. Creative blocks in general, they're just bummers. It's been over a month (give or take some days) since I've written more than a page and every time I sit down to put words to some of the amazing adventures I've been on recently I'm just stuck. It's foreign to me. Most of my life I've had deadlines, grades, mentors cheering me on, but now I have myself. Also a husband that's encouraging but it feels mostly like I'm alone in this no-ideas-ever bubble. Even now!! I'm rereading sentences and saying "ugh, Leah, you're sounding so mom bloggy, just stop." Self doubt, self consciousness, comparison, and all the like are so deeply intertwined with creative dryness, it actually blows my mind sometimes. I've always thought of myself as a very confident person but no matter what I do / tell myself those thoughts are there. They're trying to dampen my dreams, dry up my ideas, criticize my every move, and straight up stop things from happening.
I often get caught up in asking why. Why do these thoughts even exist? But let me tell you, that is a long, curvy road that just leads right back to the thoughts. (Not that long curvy roads into the human brain aren't worth exploring, neurologists, keep it up! I'm especially interested in consciousness, for real.) But in these situations the why just keeps us from pushing through the dark into the light, where we thrive on ideas and create beautiful things. And that is ultimately what has to be done. Perseverance, commitment, meditation, routine - actions that in and of them selves seem dry, monotonous, and boring but are the things that give us the means to train our brains to be a prolific creative human.
When I was younger my dad told me good musicians practice as much as they can, but not just the fun stuff. They practice scales, arpeggios, breathing, they read, and they learn as much as they possibly can, and then they play the fun stuff. But that fun stuff is a fraction of what it takes. While I still can't say I practice singing like I should (sorry dad... I try!) I'm seeing how that applies to every other part of my life. It takes work, mundane but incredibly meaningful work to get to the fun stuff. So that's where I'm at. Trying my hardest to do that work so I can reach dreams. But as I type these words I'm reminded that it's a lot (I mean a crazy amount) harder done than merely said. I can tell myself this everyday but it still doesn't make it any easier to sit down and write stories I've been meaning to write and finish projects that are so close to being finished. Work is hard and I need support. So if you're reading this, know we're in it together (high school musical, you were right) especially during the dry spells.
Excuse the preachy post, sometimes you just have to write these things even if it's for yourself, ya know? These photos are from an amazing trip we took to the Smokies where we met some crazy inspiring people. More on that later (<-- I said it, now I have a deadline :)