Creative Crisis

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It’s been a while since I have found myself confidently writing on my Mac lately. Don’t get me wrong. I putter about on the keyboard all the time and have drafts and drafts of things I would never put out there, because lately I feel like my words are meandering and just too much.

They say too much and they might scare you. They even scare me a little.

You could say that I am going through a phase in my life. A tough one and one that has brought up some questions for me and caused me to doubt myself on many levels. I find the confidence that I had on many fronts slipping away from my fingers and being suffocated by an endless stream of questions plagued with self doubt which challenge my self worth and even my identity as they try to quash the positive I know I have inside me.

I admire people who can use these moments in their lives to launch into creative bursts where they can channel the demons that taunt them and instead face forward and write about these hard moments – with honesty and humility and painful truthfulness. Even if writing what they are facing is hard or too revelatory. They embrace their monsters and forge ahead and share their ugly truths. And it’s not that they don’t care what others think.

They have just made a choice.

There have been times in my life where I can do this and there are others where I just don’t have the will, the strength to put the most vulnerable part of me out there. It’s too painful. Or it’s not practical. I still have a professional life outside of blogging and there is always the fear that one of my revelations may be the tipping point in maintaining a career and this creative, but public, outlet that I love.

The immortality of the words I choose to place on the internet is always something I consider before I hit the publish button on one of my posts. Even if I ever have to delete a post that I put out there – I still can’t erase its footprint and the fact that my words can still be emblazoned on the minds of whoever did read the post.

Not that I am saying my words are “emblazoning.” I don’t think that’s even a word. I’m just making a point in the potential longevity of my thoughts. Thoughts that might seem like a good idea to say out loud at this moment. But which I really don’t get any “take backs” on.

And so the thoughts that go through my mind quash my creativity and a tiny bit of my spirit, if I were to be painfully honest, as I sit down to write each time.

Shit, what will my parents think?

I hope my husband doesn’t hate me for saying this.

One day, my kids might read my blog.

The employer of my dreams may think my honesty is a little too fucking real for them.

 Shit, what will my parents think?

Does my honesty here equate to crazy in real life?

Will I hurt anybody by saying what I need to say – to heal, to vent, to clear my mind and conscience?

Oh fuck, what if my kids’ teachers read my blog?

Does anybody care what I really have to say anyway?

What can I really write about that’s worth reading that hasn’t already been said?

Will anybody even read this?

Will people think I curse too much? Goddamnit.

SHIT. What will my parents think?

And so all of these thoughts and more go through my head. And my fingers start to slow down on the keyboard – the once purposeful rhythm is lost. And I take my drafts and ensure that they stay drafts and I turn my back on believing that the words that are coming out mean anything. To me. To anyone at all.

Going through a creative crisis like this is not an easy thing to do but I would imagine that any creative person goes through some variation of this. When it happens to me, it feels like the air is a little thicker – a little heavier to breathe. My steps are slower and the confidence I have waivers not just in my creative world, but in every aspect of my life.

I try to explain this to my husband, John. And I think he gets it as much as he can get it, being as he’s never been drawn to the same creative outlets as me or thought of writing as therapy.

But that’s very much what it is. Therapy. And in a way, it helps my spirit survive and stay a little more complete. When I silence it, I take away a huge part of who I am.

And so I’m hoping and I’m praying that this hiatus in writing and this particularly hard thing I am going through which has stopped the words from flowing is simply that – a hiatus. A necessary one which allows me the time to process what I need to process in private and resume writing as soon as my heart can handle it again.

I have never taken for granted that I have a blog which is read my many friends – both whom I know in real life and whom I have made online. I am not a “big” blogger, but my words do get read and I am grateful that something I find worthy of writing is considered by some to be worthy of sharing. It’s both gratifying and humbling when that happens, and I feel very fortunate to be able to make an impact with words.

I hope for anyone else who is in a creative crisis that you find your way through. I think these ups and downs have to happen so we can appreciate what a gift it is when the words DO come, when the brave comes out and when the fear goes away.

So we can breathe.

Keep breathing, friends.

XO,

Kiran

19 Responses to Creative Crisis

  • Nicole Dash
    Twitter:
    says:

    I am in exactly the same place. When I hurt it’s much harder for me to share everything. I want to share and be honest, but I am always thinking of the people around me and what they will think or feel. It’s a hard burden to carry being so damn thoughtful all the time. Wouldn’t it be easier if we could just be selfish and spill our souls just to feel better. Without consequence or questions or making our loved ones worry (more than they already do). Take your time and write for yourself. Maybe one day you will share it, or not. That is okay too. Your readers will be here when you get back to it. I’m still waiting to get myself back. Soon.
    Nicole Dash recently posted…The Dandelion Seed Waits With HopeMy Profile

    • masalachica says:

      Nicole,
      I hope you get yourself back again soon too. It WILL happen. And you’re right – writing doesn’t always have to be shared to be cathartic. I will remember that and keep going, telling the stories I can and holding on to the ones I need to keep private in fear that my family will freak ;-). When you get back, I am here and I am sorry if you are in a place where you are hurting. Life can be a real bitch sometimes but she relents. Eventually.
      XO

  • Michele says:

    Kiran, you are NOT ALONE. (And I must admit that I am relieved to know that I’m not alone, either!) Finding the balance between the therapy that writing/sharing brings and not overstepping/oversharing is HARD. I end up coming out where you do, a lot — lots of ideas and drafts but many of the same questions keep me from hitting “post.” But trust that people support whatever decision you make, however often that means you post, and that we love to read what you write.
    Michele recently posted…The Promise of a Christmas Card (LTYM version)My Profile

    • masalachica says:

      Michele,
      It is a relief to know that what I wrote here is something you can relate to and God YES! that I am not alone. The constant need to edit, especially when I am hurting and perhaps need to write the most, paralyzes me sometimes till all the editing has left me, well, speechless. Thank you for being a supporter. I hope I can be the same for you.
      XO

  • Alison
    Twitter:
    says:

    Kiran, I understand the place from which you’re speaking.
    I recently read Natalie Goldberg’s ‘Writing Down The Bones’ where she said that we should write through the pain, the block, the excuses, the worrying what other people think, and just write it all down. Whether those words become public or not matters now. It only matters that as a writer, you must write.
    Of course, it’s totally okay to NOT write too. Take a step back if you have to. Read a lot. Breathe.
    Much love to you. xo
    Alison recently posted…A Twin UpdateMy Profile

    • masalachica says:

      Dear Alison,
      Thanks for sharing that book with me. I will definitely read it based on your rec. You have done some brave writing lately and I applaud you for that! I know some of it has not been easy but you have been brave and I am very proud. You, Nicole and Michele are right that it does not need to be shared to gain the catharsis I am seeking. Thank you for reminding me of that and also for being such an inspiring friend I can share my journey with, even when I stumble.
      XO

  • naomi
    Twitter:
    says:

    I agree with Alison … your words don’t need to be made public but I would encourage you to still write. Use your fast and furious flow to just write (curse words and all), and then hit “save”. “Publish” is a scary word and sometimes others aren’t ready to hear our words, but that doesn’t change whether what we have to say is valid or not.
    naomi recently posted…Top Twenty Podcasts you should be listening toMy Profile

  • Jenni Chiu
    Twitter:
    says:

    Writing through the hurt can be very brave. Not writing and holding what’s not for the whole world is also brave. Whatever we do when we are raw, clawing our ways through… whatever we do to get through to the other side is brave.
    Jenni Chiu recently posted…#YesAllWomen – Not Just Hashtag ActivismMy Profile

  • The Bride says:

    I hope this too shall pass, and you not only get back to blogging with abandon but also can sort out whatever it is that is troubling you.

    Having to edit one’s thoughts for the blog is something I’d wager every blogger who writes on personal issues. It’s one of the reasons I blog anonymously, but there are still people who read my blog who know me in person and that can be inhibiting. Also, my husband is aware of the blog and I don’t want to hurt him through my uber-honest writing. So there are lines we all draw.

    During personal turbulent periods, I’ve created a private blog that I use as a diary to record and process my emotions. Some people also password protect certain sensitive posts.
    The Bride recently posted…Peaceful easy feelingMy Profile

  • Mike Huiwitz says:

    I’m going through the same thing. Only, I call it a dry spell.
    Mike Huiwitz recently posted…mentorsandmillionaires.comMy Profile

  • Katie
    Twitter:
    says:

    You have written what is exactly on my heart right now. When I type, it feels like that dream when you are trying to run away from something, but your body just won’t move fast–like it’s stuck in slow motion. My fingers are heavy and stuck in slow motion.

    I know it’s because I am afraid.
    Katie recently posted…Hannah, Delivered {book review}My Profile

  • Kim says:

    I went through what I called a crisis in confidence recently. I have drafts upon drafts in my folder, and yet could never find the words to finish them. The inspiration and the flow to continue just stopped. I felt like anything I had to say was unworthy of being shared. I waited it out and now, my words are flowing and it is easier to get hit the publish button again. It is an ebb and flow situation.
    I hope that your words come back – and the fear goes away – soon.
    Kim recently posted…Thinking PlaceMy Profile

  • Dixya
    Twitter:
    says:

    im going through a same phase and hopefully we both will snap out of it soon. until then lets breathe.
    Dixya recently posted…Out and About : One Day in AustinMy Profile

  • Ana says:

    I feel the same. I want to write, I need to write, but yet I’m afraid of putting it out there to be poked and prodded. Anxiety also leads to a paralysis for me—though it would be much more productive and cathartic to talk or write things through, I feel very stuck and can’t bring myself to do anything. The harder the time is, the more I hold back.

    • masalachica says:

      Ana,
      I feel like even just writing that post the other day was hugely cathartic for me. It’s like – once I put it out there – I just said “fuck it” and decided to forge forward anyway. And I feel good about it. I still haven’t gotten over my life stress issue, but I think not writing makes it worse. You are right – the longer we let ourselves hold back out words, the harder it is to return to letting them flow.

      So, just remember you can get back to it when you can. I totally understand and I am trying to fight through this. Know that you are not alone. XO

  • Roshni
    Twitter:
    says:

    Even though I strive to keep my blog anonymous, I know that’s going to be almost impossible to maintain! Because of that, I try to be very careful about what I say regarding my family! I put out my own issues; I can live with those being public even though I may hate my IRL friends asking about those, but I can’t allow my family’s personal stuff to be out there under any circumstance! That automatically restricts my writing, which is constricting, but I can live with that!
    I hope you can solve this dichotomy!
    Roshni recently posted…Online games : 3 ways to not let this lead to a clash of generationsMy Profile

  • Kristin Shaw says:

    I tend to write in spurts, and then put my writing away to let it sit and turn over in my mind. And then I go through these droughts where nothing seems to come to me. But I write SOMEWHERE. Even just little notes to myself. They’re in there, Kiran, marinating in your head until you’re ready to let them out. xo
    Kristin Shaw recently posted…Friday FavoritesMy Profile

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MEET KIRAN
I'm Kiran, I'm a dreamer. A writer. A singer. A mother. An ugly crier. An Indian-American. Who loves Gandhi. My stories are full of truth that is sometimes hard for me to say out loud. This blog is where I overcome my fears and live (and love) out loud. Read More....
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