it never rains but it pours

I had one of those weeks last week. All the news that came in was bad, and I kept expecting it to get worse.

I’m still recovering from it, but that week started me thinking about creativity and life.

I have been keeping a distant eye on some really neat creative projects that launched last week. (I will be posting more a little later) And there are some fascinating collections that are calling for submissions. And there are projects I was in the middle of and that I still need to finish. But I couldn’t track with much beyond my own life last week. Not that I think I needed to (the deadlines are still far enough away that giving myself the necessary time), but I still chose to be fairly isolated.

Writing this now, a line from the end of James Joyce’s Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man. “[Mother] prays now, she says, that I may learn in my own life and away from home and friends what the heart is and what it feels.” I have loved this line since I first read it, but what I see now, added to everything else I’ve seen in this quote, is the absolute need for space, both physical and mental, to understand your life.

I gave myself some space, and I found the beginnings and concepts for more stories than I now have time to write. Not that I won’t try to write them all, but in that time of turmoil, I discovered my brain was working on ways to process and siphon of the influx of emotion and information.

T.S. Eliot is quoted as saying something like: I have lived through enough for an epic. The timeframe given is not long before he leaves to write The Wasteland.*

I don’t know about you, but I frequently remember quotes like Eliot’s when I’m in the midst of events or situations where I don’t have control.  I’m also a believer in signs, so I don’t discount the appearance of these random quotes. I go with whatever my first thought is in response to the quote, and see if it’s something helpful.

This time it was. What I took from the confluence of events is that I have lived through much, because I have been living. So what is there to stop me from taking all that experience and emotion and using it to create something new?**


So I’ve decided that the rest of this week, I will work on all those stories that knocked on my consciousness when I had proclaimed: Do Not Disturb.

Life is what it is. I’m going to embrace it. Time to get cracking on those stories.

    *I can’t remember off the top of my head where I found this. But I know I used it in a paper for the MA, and those notes are currently packed away.
    ** I’m a big fan of the Modernists, and could bore you for hours with minutia from then.

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6 thoughts on “it never rains but it pours”

  1. I’ve had a lot of weeks like that over the past few months. But I’ve realized, too, that those bad times make me appreciate the good times that much more.

  2. The influx of ideas that choose to bombard us when we aren’t necessarily ready can make it difficult to buckle down and focus. On the other hand, if we could pick and choose the moment when our muse decides to appear, life would be so much easier.

    Sorry you had such a bad week, but here’s to brighter days.

  3. Glad to hear you’re using this newly found momentum to propel you forward. Things do always happen for a reason – it’s how you cope with it that determines your next move. And yes, sometimes giving yourself space, a much needed breather to step back and regroup is all you need to envision a clearer path ahead. Be well.

  4. Weeks like that can be tough. I have loads of ideas/first lines/etc that I have written down when they came to me and I didn’t have time to work on them. Two ideas I came up with a while ago have come to the forefront recently and one of them I expect to be a completed novella by early June. I’m so glad I wrote them down when I first thought of them.

    Sometimes you can’t force these things – and sometimes you have to.

  5. It’s funny how the creative force within us screams for release when we’re at our busiest. Sometimes that just means that what drives us knows when we need that reminder that hey, we’re thinkers/doers/dreamers, and there’s creation that happens where and when we least expect it.

    Kudos to you for the willingness to step back and breathe so you can take advantage of that force. Even just listening long enough to write down those ideas can be enough to remind us of our innate need to create.

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