Not So Fresh Feeling

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Do you ever get that..."not so fresh feeling"??

Heh. No, I don't mean in a Summer's Eve kind of way--I mean creatively. I've been feeling a little uninspired this week, so I turned back to this great Jim Jarmusch quote which always gives me an inspirational kick in the pants.

When you are trying to be a great mom, a great friend, a great wife and also do some work that you find meaningful and thoughtful, you are bound to get tired once in a while--in a mental way in addition to the physical fatigue most of us wage war against pretty much every day. Creative tiredness is a different beast though, at least for me. It's this sort of boredom with myself. In my fiction writing (something I am trying to pick up again, on the side) I find myself yawning at my own banality, wondering if I am ever, ever going to have an original thought, something worth committing to the written page.

Writing is such an odd exercise, and such an arrogant one when you really think about it. Why should you or anybody else read anything I have to say? Here I am complaining about all the literary and sensory noise out there, but I am adding to it everyday! Anybody who has ever put pen to paper must perennially wonder "who the hell am I?" and "what can I possibly say that's new?"

So thank you Jim Jarmusch for always reminding me that the goal isn't necessarily newness, the goal is authenticity. It's worth remembering not only in writing, but in everything really.
9 comments:
Vera said...

love the quote. it applies to motherhood too no? we don't have to be the cool mom, the together mom. we just have to be our true self.

"Writing is Hard" said...

Love Jim Jarmusch and love this quote. Have you ever seen "Fishing with John"--one of them features JJ and it's one of the most hilarious things ever.

I am a writer. Every writer I know goes through things like this. Keep on writing, keep on producing, keep on putting good stuff out in the world. It's all you can do!

Shona said...

At the risk of sounding cheesy, you are not writing noise! Please keep writing!

Anonymous said...

The authentic life: Isn't that what we all strive for? Keeping it in mind is a good way to frame our decisions for sure.

Anonymous said...

boy do i know what you mean. in between all the logistics of childcare and working, i feel like what i have let go are the little moments that used to inspire me daily. taking time to smell the roses so to speak. sneaking to the museum at lunch. i feel uninspired in so much i do i dont know how to fix it anymore. every morning, even as i am just packing my kids' lunch, i find myself wondering how i got to this point, so automatic you know?? i know the solution: find time for myself etc etc. but easier said than done.

Nimi said...

I could have written this. I literally have post-it notes saying things like "Keep On Keeping On" on my computer to try to get me through period of creative fatigue. I know that fueling my creative fires is good for me, good for my baby, good for my marriage but sometimes I get so fed up with it all and it seems so very futile, especially when I could be rolling around and playing with a child who adores me whether or not I paint that painting, write that book, finish that symphony (haha--or start that symphony!)

Neesha said...

Nimi raises a point I talk about often with girlfriends: What happens to women's ambition once they have a child?? I am no exception and I don't mean to start a whole thread about how it's hard to juggle everything. I mean that it seriously feels like women LOSE the drive and passion of their careers once they have kids. Am I off?

Anonymous said...

It's only noise if it's crap. I second the plesae writing troop!

Anna said...

Neesha, no I don't think you are "off" at all. It is something the women I know (and I) grapple with often: Where our ambition towards our career has gone. Of course we channel so much energy into our kids once we have them that it makes sense that something has got to give. But so many of us have worked years and years to educate ourselves and cultivae our career so it's a pretty interesting phenom when so many of us choose to uniformly "opt out." I can't help but wonder if there is an actual physical component to the issue--an actual physical or physiological component to ambition and drive that goes away or is dimished after childbirth. But my husband thinks that's crazy!

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