When Life Meets Art

I have been faced with a new problem the past few weeks. I am out of words. I am never out of words. I love to talk, to write, to sing. If it involves words, I am good to go.

There are times I will wake Pookie up in the middle of the night because I can’t sleep, and I just want to talk. Over the years, Pookie has developed a unique and magical talent of being able to sense when I am in such a mood, and he can carry on full conversations in his sleep. It is a win-win. I get to talk, and he gets to sleep.

But suddenly I find myself short on words. Not in conversation, but in anything written. In blog posts, on Twitter and Facebook, but especially in my writing. I couldn’t figure out why. I could always write. And I have ideas I love, but I can’t come up with the words for the story.

Then, this afternoon, Kaye and I were standing on stage for rehearsal for Willy Wonka. We were rehearsing the opening of the second act and Wonka was singing, when we were both struck with the appropriateness of the song he was singing:

You will find in your mind

There’s a world of endless fascination—

No more fun place to be

Than your imagination

(At the Gates, Ronald Dahl’s Willy Wonka 2-Act, page 48)

We both agreed that we should post this somewhere on our blog, since it is very fitting for our new journey. (It being part of my post, on the other hand, may be a complete surprise to Kaye.  SURPRISE! 😉 )

When rehearsal ended Pookie and I did some shopping and made dinner, but I kept thinking about this line. After dinner, I sat down to write this post on a completely different topic, but the words wouldn’t come. I kept circling back to this quote. Then it hit me—that ah-ha moment! I know my problem! I know when I the words stopped flowing.

About two months ago, I decided to write full-time. At that point, I started looking at it as a job, no longer something I do for fun. I looked at it simply as an obligation, not as something I wanted to do. And the words stopped flowing. What I realized tonight is that, regardless of prior experience, “fun” and “work” do not have to be mutually exclusive.

In other words, just because writing is now my “job,” it doesn’t mean that I can’t still have fun. I was drawn to a career as a writer because writing is fun. The song is right—your imagination is an amazing, exciting place to be. I lost sight of that, and writers block set in. That’s my theory, anyway. So, this week I am going to focus on having fun with my writing, in hopes that the words return. *Crosses fingers* 🙂 We’ll see how it goes.

What are your thoughts? Can work be fun, or when you start doing something as a job, does it cease to be fun?

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About Susi Borath

Susi Borath finds time to write between freelance marketing jobs, minor league baseball games, creating new cookie recipes, and juggling more laundry than any two people should be able to produce. You can find more about her at http://susiborath.com or follow @susiborath on Twitter.
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2 Responses to When Life Meets Art

  1. Kaye Peters says:

    Are we having fun yet? I don’t know about you, but this is a hoot! All kidding aside, I know the feeling. We were so excited to start this endeavor, weren’t we? Then we got into it and we find ourselves dragging a bit. I agree, we took the fun out of it and we didn’t mean to. We put too much pressure on ourselves. Almost like putting the eggs before the chicken…or whatever the saying is – something farm related, right? We get caught up focusing on the journey to publication forgetting the one simple road direction we need to take. That direction that leads us to write. I know that I’m too worried about turning this into a “career” that I forget that I started writing to experiment, create, to explore. I think if I hold onto that direction the fun just sort of happens.

  2. Pingback: Words Words Words…Making Sense of it All! « Treasures of Life

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