Thursday, December 15, 2005
The worst enemy to creativity is self-doubt.
~ Sylvia Plath ~


But, I'd like to add a few more enemies to the list:

The sinkfull of food encrusted dishes, sitting in a tepid pool of old soapy water.

The toddler tugging at my sleeve, begging me to play (and really, who would rather sit around being "creative" with a keyboard, when you could be crawling around with a king of creativity - a child?)

"Must See" TV.

Christmas shopping.


The pile of bills and bank statements sitting between my mug and the monitor.

Grocery shopping.

Dirty diapers.

The list continues, but it begins to stress me out, so I'm going to stop there.

Since creativity appears to be scared of me lately, (and who can blame her? I'm constantly surrounded by no less than three of her enemies at a time. She would need to climb mountains of dirty diapers and hurdle past hours of mindless distraction in the hopes of catching even a moment of my attention.) I've decided to go hunting for her. I'm going to drag her down into the thick of my daily life and see what happens.

I've made a list of literary magazines and writing contests with deadlines all within the next month or two - and I have set a goal to have at least one short story ready to actually submit. Gasp! Wouldn't that be something? A girl who claim's to want to be a writer, actually taking the step and submitting a story for the world to see? Inconceivable.

It's true though, aside from the manuscript I had to submit for acceptance into my MFA program, I have never sent out a piece of my work to be scrutinized and -ack- rejected by someone in the publishing world. I suppose that I could blame this on the list I just posted; or I could just admit that Sylvia Plath was right - and get over it.



Blogger FreeSoftwareGuy said...

Don't rush it. Let it flow naturally, and good things will happen.

Blogger Skye said...

I absolutely hear you, Mella.

If it's any encouragement, the pieces of your fiction that I have read totally knocked my socks off. You have a fantastic writing voice, an exceptional ability to inject your writing with emotional content that affects the reader, and a fluidity to your writing which makes it easy and enjoyable to read. I can't tell any difference in quality between your writing and the published works of fiction I have read and enjoyed. So, if you're going to let something hold you back, let it be diapers, bills, traffic, etc... but not self-doubt.

And thanks for posting that Sylvia Plath quote again; I was looking for it the other day and couldn't find it.

Blogger Mella said...

Thank you a million times over, Skye for your very encouraging words.

Oh, and here's the complete quote from Sylvia Plath - it's a great one:
And by the way, everything in life is writable about if you have the outgoing guts to do it, and the imagination to improvise. The worst enemy to creativity is self-doubt.

And now, I'm off to tackle diapers and bills!

Ohhhh... so exciting Mella!!!

No matter what - I'm going to enjoy reading what you come up with. :) If that counts.... I'll send you an award for all your work. A trophey in the form of a Gingerbread man?

More importantly - ENJOY IT the creativeness.

Blogger LJ said...

Another "worst," if I may, Mella. My boss and I (we both write)were comparing notes about process one day - and we discovered that both of us had a little mantra...
"if I just DO the housework and PAY the bills and get the laundry out of the way and make those phone calls...(add your own here), THEN I'll be able to sit down and write."
And the thing was, both of us realized that we did not sit down to write when we made the super-human effort to do all that and clear some time. What actually happened was that our brains were in list-and-housekeeping-mode - and the muse had died of boredom while we got that way. SO.
I tried an experiment (and this has to be greatly modified with your boss there but...) I got up in the morning and wrote. I wrote every day for three days. I did not wash the dishes, or my hair, or pay bills or do anything that was howling at my heels to be done - and my block went away. The more slovenly and unkempt my house and i became, the easier it was to stay with it.
And I have NO idea how one does this with a baby in the picture, but maybe the idea will be useful to think about.
Put the baby - the other one named "should" to bed and plunge.
Much love and happy writing....

Blogger Mr. Cherry said...

I'd say the worst enemy to creativity is distraction. Sweet looking blog. Cheers!

Blogger Teri said...

What Skye said. You rock! And I know you know this, but even if a work does get rejected by an editor, that's just one person's opinion.

I totally relate. I don't write fiction, but I am always trying to come up with venues for my writing. Even when I do come up with a list of possibilities, I never try!! I never submit. Then I read some award-winning essay and I think wow, I can't write like that. It kind of validates my non-action. It just enforces the self doubt. Vicious cycle!

Blogger Mella said...

Teri! You're a phenomenal writer, and you should be in print somewhere - anywhere!

In the meantime, I'm so happy to have found you in the blogosphere.

Blogger Young Brother said...

Love your blog. Creativity will win in the long run. Just wanted to say, don't drown in the sea of dirty diapers! great job

Blogger Kelvin said...

Kia Ora (Hello) from a krazy blogger down under in New Zealand. Does been krazy instead of mad count ??? I see you have left a glass of wine out for me - the tide is a bit low, fill it up !!! (hehe)

Blogger szerin said...

Yeah Mella- spiritful cool funny mother of The Boss... :-p I can tell from your blog, you are a good mummy and wify... Anyway, hope u guys are alrighty ... and sorry for interupting... :-p Merry X'Mas...

Blogger Teri said...

(days later)

Thanks honey! Back atcha.

Blogger Neo said...

Mella -I'm sure you'd win. :) You have that talent in you. Just focus a bit more and then you'll kick the worlds butt. I lost the edge for knowing why I started writing, and just bring it instead. Don't be so tough on yourself. *hugs*

Blogger ing said...

Hi -- I sort of stumbled into this forum because yes, I'm procrastinating writing a book review. I graduated from an MFA program a couple of years ago. If it makes you feel any better, I haven't sent out a thing since I graduated. I keep working at my stuff, but it never seems polished enough, not to me. That I didn't send stuff out always irritated my teachers.

It's a relief to post stuff on the blog. I try to write well, but I suppose my standards aren't so high here.

Good luck,

Hi Mella

I'd forgotten about that Kerouac quote until I saw it on your web page. Reminds me of when I read it in high school and how at the time I was so inspired by it. It's still inspiring and I just wanted to wish you luck with your writing.

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