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Bethany: The Fun of Letting Go

Life has been hellish lately.  And I don’t mean that in the Gosh-I-Just-Don’t-Feel-Right Sorta Way. No. It’s been hellish.  16+ hour work days, endless phone calls.  Teething baby.  Six Year Old Kid that feels neglected. And a husband who is still dealing with the unexpected death of his mother less than 4 months ago.  Not to mention a needless fight I had with my own mother… mostly due to my frustration with my current work situation. Does this have a thing to do with creativity?

You bet your ass it does!  When life is chaotic, my creativity goes down the toilet. In fact, one could say creativity just gets lost like everything else (routines, laundry, dishes).  And this spell with chaos is no exception.  So much so, I’ve decided to take drastic measures–I’m “quitting” all my works in progress.

Before you get all nutso on me, let me explain. I’ve been pushing myself to produce something (anything really) for a while now. Making myself sit at they keyboard and write until I felt I had written something decent, entertaining, and publishable.  And I think for the most part, I accomplished all three.  Though, from the rejections that I have received lately, apprarantly people in the industry don’t agree with me.  But that’s fine.  I’m all about going with the flow.   That is, until it’s no longer fun.

I started this book writing thing because it was fun.  I wrote fun stories, about quirky women, with lives as zany as my own and I hoped others like them.  Some did.  Other didn’t.  And still, more did. And didn’t.  In the end, I am right were I started.  Writing my fingers to a bone while my family sleeps and reaching for a dream.  Only in the last few months, I lost the fun part. I was so caught up in producing, I forgot fun.

Writing is fun. Most of the time.  And hell, if it is a really good story, it can be fun all the time.  At least until the 50th revision… but I am ahead of myself.  The point is, I’ve lost the fun.  And, man, if I am going to give up my blessed sleep for writing–I sure as hell better be having fun. So, all my current book ideas are headed for the file cabinet.  Virtual one that is and I’m gonna sit back and relax.  Let ideas come to me and see what will be next.

Hopefully a work schedule that finds itself a bit more sane, and a baby that will finally have teeth (and sleep!), and a son that enjoys being around his mom (instead of telling me, “Mom, you have your mean voice on.”).  Pray for me.  Because my muse doesn’t know a timetable. Nor does my work. And for this little “break” to work, they have to find a way to synch up somehow.  Or it won’t be any fun at all.

2 Comments Post a comment
  1. It sounds like you’ve wrapped your head around your situation, Bethany–so that’s good. One observation: based on your regular blog alone (http://www.bethanyhiitola.com/blog), you ARE being creative. Even just writing for your online audience counts. You’re putting thoughts on “paper.” You’re keeping that part of your brain and self alive. I think you should count that as part of your creative output, especially when it doesn’t feel like you have the bandwidth for anything more.

    I can’t entirely identify with “losing the fun,” mainly because for me writing is, sadly, not usually fun. I do it because I’m compelled to, and because the outcome makes me feel good–kind of like running. I’m really glad when it’s over. I feel good about myself, like I’ve accomplished something important. But as for enjoying the process…well, those moments are fleeting and rare. I relish them, but it’s not why I show up at the laptop or tie on my running shoes. I truly WISH I was one of those people who gets high from writing and/or running. But I’m not 😦

    April 21, 2008
  2. I’m so with you on this one. i too have actually made a decision today that is going to mean even less time to write, but right now, it’s the right decison (that’s a lot of writes / rights in one sentence!).

    I was one of those career women who flew to the top of the ladder and perched there precariously enjoying every second of the power and buzz. and then a funny thing happened. after my baby was born, I did not run yelping with glee back to my beloved office. instead, I cut the umbilical chord with that world and emersed myself into motherhood. a very unexpected turn of events it has to be said. and then to add to it all, I had another baby fairly quickly – quick enough for my doctor to do a double take when he saw me again! and then another funny thing happened. I began to fulfill my lifelong ambition to write.

    I’m a great great believer in both things happening for a reason, and your deep deep consciousness working round the clock to help you achieve your goals. however, me being me, and writing being writing, I took on too much until the very reason I gave up my job (ie to spend time with my babies) was being jeopardised by my new ‘job’ i was forging as a writer.

    so i’ve made a decision. it’s summer. my little girl starts pre-school in september. I’m going to cancel the two days a week she goes to a minder and enjoy the summer with her and her wee sister whose personality has just burst through along with her first teeth. I’m going to write of course, but it’s going to take a back seat for a couple of months. I’m always going to write. but i’ll never get these next few months back. and since i made that decision ironically i’ve felt like writing again. like you, forcing myself to sit at the desk just stopped working for me. i need this time out to let my creative juices flow a bit more freely. and lets face it, ther’s nothing like a bit of sand-castle building to reach another part of yourself.

    so well done you. good decision. take breath. regroup. and find the fun again….

    April 24, 2008

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