Saturday, 9 January 2010

Where is my muse when I need it?

At the moment I've had plenty of time on my hands as the appalling weather has meant that I haven't really gone anywhere other than a local shop since last Monday. So I've been wondering why with all this time I haven't been writing my book. It's a perfect opportunity. Instead of which I've kept house,cooked all sorts of things,including bird food cake.

As an aside, I always feed the birds in the winter and it is an absolute joy to see them coming in the garden and availing themselves of the food I've left out.There are robins, blackbirds, thrushes, fieldfares, turtle doves, pigeons and the occasional magpie all popping by daily. There is even a Peregrine Falcon in the area, and it is in fact taking sanctuary at night under my neighbours eaves, which is a very odd place indeed for this bird.

But there has been no writing.I haven't been blogging, I haven't written emails, and I certainly haven't written a chapter of my book.

This book that is now in it's third year of going nowhere, came out of my needing to leave a legacy for my sons of them knowing what skills I had. And to bare witness to my knowledge of therapy.

Several things have happened that have stopped progress apart from disinterest on my part. The biggest thing is difficult to articulate in that I have been doing my work as a therapist now for 26 years and have worked in my current job for 17 years. In that time I have written endless handouts on anything and everything that I deal with clients about. Most of them dating back to the early days of this job.

So when I wrote the chapters I have, they were an expansion and a better writing of the handouts. A great deal of my knowledge is instinctive, I have a gift of understanding human nature, this combined with common sense has meant that my words have resonated with my clients always. I believe most of the stuff I have written about is my take on life, it obviously has endless influences and bits of knowledge picked up as I've gone along.

However I find it disturbing when someone comes along and seemingly takes my knowledge and expands on it so far that they have written a book themselves, or are like Paul McKenna making a fortune doing a TV show on how he can make you thin.

I feel devalued in that although although I have been saying the same things someone else is saying them louder and making their fortune.

Now this is where it gets very delicate, cause who knows who has the original idea,I feel that the way I explain human behaviour is unique, but borrows stuff from wherever I can find it to back up any hypothesis I expound.

So on the one hand I want my sons to know that I had a knowledge and an intelligence, (they of course have always known this.)It is my history that says I was once stupid that I've been trying to prove that disbelieving part of myself.

But at the moment I feel battered by reading things by others I believed were my knowledge. Of course I understand Jung's collective unconscious. But it is having the affect of making me feel I can't be bothered, someone else has already done it, no-one will want to read what I have to say. So I've reached an impasse, where I have 20 odd thousand words written going nowhere or being expanded upon, which is a shame.

I wish I could find some inspiration to pick it up again, as I really do have a wonderful opportunity at the moment to type my fingers off. I even have courtesy of a journo friend a new way to run with the book. But I don't have the inspiration to start.

I'm hoping in finally writing these words down it will, as Hercule Poirot would say I can use my little grey cells, to motivate me.

Equally I'm not beating myself up, as I have written what I have done so far. And although nowhere near completed, or rewritten it is a start, and I just need the wherewithal to finish the start,and start the finish.


Helen said...

My dear....

Seventeen years is quite a long time to remain in one job ~ have you considered a new professional challenge in a new environment?

I can feel your frustration and understand how you must be feeling.

Take care of yourself through this process. I ALWAYS enjoy reading your words ........

Fire Byrd said...

Helen it's not the job. I feel privelidged to have this job it is the worlds best. It is my frustration with writing that's doing my head in.
I couldn't think of doing anything else other than working as a therapist, although if I sell my house this year I will have to work somewhere else (fingers crossed I do!)

Zan said...

Personally I am not a big fan of Paul McKenna. And I really did like Dr Phil's view on things when he first started his show, now however I think he values himself way too much and believes he's a bit of a God. I prefer to read books like.. Susan Jeffers or Kay Redfield Jamison, because their books take on a personal viewpoint, built on their own knowledge and experiences rather than just text books. And I have a feeling that's what your book will be like. Unique, just like you are!
Would love to read it once you're done, perhaps you'd even sign me a copy of it? :)


trousers said...

Though I haven't read it as yet, there's a book which might help deal with what you feel you're up against here.

I can identify in some ways with what you're saying, in terms of my own apprehension of creative processes and the flow of ideas (and the relationship with ideas which are out there in abundance in one form or another).

You might have heard of the book - it's titled "F*ck It" :)

Grammy said...

I would like to invite you to a new group I started called healing art. The link is on the side of my blog. It may get you going by doing an art journal. Adding photos to a page creates words and inspires happy thoughts. Doodling is fun. And you are aware of the art of photography. A picture inspires many things to many people.

This may help you get over your block. As you know I have been writhing. And I am not a writer. I am on the road to bliss this year.

Lia said...

I know it's a cliche but there's that old, old one that says "It's not the winning, it's the taking part".

Now I realise that this may sound stupid, but when you first started to write your blog, was it just because you wanted to express yourself OR was it because you wanted to reach as many people as you could, OR maybe it was a bit of both.
Either way it doesn't matter the fact remains that you have written a blog that 58 other people like.
I found you through some one else's blog, read a few post and something resonated, so I came back again and again, because you resonated, stuck a chord, made me want to read your words, gave me things to think about and I think you will find that is the same for the rest of us.

You know very few people in the World get to be heard by everyone and that's okay. But if you can help just one person along the path of life, what does it matter, it's still one person whose life has been enriched by you and they may pay-it-forward. Some of us never know in life how many peoples lives we touch.

Write, for you, for your history, for your boys, for your blog-buddies, for me and for that ONE person whose life you just might be able to help.

Much love

speck of dust said...

Well, personally when I came across blog I was interested in everything you were/are writing. I also was very interested in your book, mainly because of the title. I think you share with me a sense of humour, a bit of sarcasm when you get a bit hacked off with something and that is enjoyable to read. I've written and had work published and also come across others with the same ideas and I thought 'why did I bother?!'. I think it is just unavoidable. Doesn't mean your ideas aren't great. And your book can ONLY be by you and unique to you because there is, there is no doubt, only one you. It sounds like you've got the procrastinationitis. You need to pull yourself up by your socks, have a word with yourself, sit yourself down and write something. Write something that YOU will enjoy writing. Have a rant :) Or try and write a lot of rubbish. Just write anything. A little at a time every day. And if you don't. Then maybe you just don't want to or need to. But to go back to the beginning; I would quite like to read it!!! x

speck of dust said...

And please don't stop feeding the birdies! Robins can die very quickly in cold spells. You've just saved a robin's life. Even when you don't think you're trying you're making the world a better place. :)

lakeviewer said...

Inspiration will come and you need to tie her down and keep her in tow until the task is done.

Pam said...

Procrastinationitis -it'll get you every time! Keep at it. Your words always fall on grateful ears.

Mel said...

Yeah....what Lia said! :-)

((((((( the byrdie )))))))

Helen said...

Hello again ... I know how much you love what you do and my suggestion was not to change professions but the environment in which you practice ... selling your home would indeed make that happen. Glad you have broken through the barrier and are inspired to write again.
Take care.