Crack The Shutters

#DailyWings“Peace again! – The exquisite hour before dawn, here at my old desk–seldom have I realized so keenly, appreciated so fully, these still, dark hours.” – Edward Weston

I have always seen this blog as a window into my thoughts and my life, but lately I’ve kept that window closed. It’s been nearly two weeks since my last post, and clicking on “New Post” today was like getting my teeth cleaned and realizing I needed a filling. I finally had to face the neglect my blog has received, but now that I am typing away again, I find myself sighing with relief. Starting is always the hardest part. 

In general, I haven’t been writing lately. It’s weird how you can love something so much that you’re scared to touch or even go near it. Even after two years of blogging, it still takes effort to open this window into who I am, to set aside my fears and actually write stuff that means something to me. 

I sometimes tell people that I can’t live without writing, and before it seemed to come out as an exaggerated joke – but I’m beginning to think it’s true. These last few weeks have been tough. Lonely. Chock-full of mistakes and regrets. And busy… so terribly busy. I’m surprised I actually survived last week, when every hour was filled with this meeting or that class, and food and sleep were only distant things that existed outside my bubble. My journal was MIA, and the only writing I did consisted of interview transcriptions and class notes and feature stories. Looking back now, not doing any writing for myself was a mistake. 

The good thing is, gray days don’t last forever. Long walks in the arboretum are nice I am lucky to have some of the best friends anyone could ask for. Being busy has kept me from overthinking: Even though research and classes take over most of my waking hours, I wouldn’t trade my majors — journalism and psychology — for any others. There is just too much fun in learning and discovering something new. And, of course, I have the best followers – my friends, even when my window stays closed for long periods of time you are still here. Lastly, thank God for music. 

Over the months, I noticed that I tend to avoid writing when I don’t want to confront myself. Inside, I knew if I opened that window I would see how I was really doing – terrible. Being down in the dumps stinks, and when that realization rises above the surface, it makes the thought that much more real. But at the same time, I am slowly learning that the sun can’t light up the room until you crack the shutters open wide.*

Let’s just hope I am able to keep that window open from now on. 

How do you bounce back from the blues? Any thoughts on balancing writing with other aspects of your life? 
*This phrase is based on one of my favorite songs, Crack the Shutters by Snow Patrol. 

4 responses to “Crack The Shutters”

  1. I hope you are able to keep this window open as well. I do enjoy your writing and admire your ability to continue writing.

  2. Okay, that’s just too scary. I’ve been feeling the same way for the past several weeks and I’m just now coming out of it. It was as if I were reading about me. Good Wendy has been coaxing me, ever so gently to just do something that will make me feel happy. It’s starting to work and I’ll be doing NANO again this year.

    Be good to yourself. Take care of yourself.

    Hugs from Wendy Lu 2.

  3. Wendy Lu says:

    You are both so sweet.

    Cheryl – Thank you so much, that is very encouraging! :)

    Wendy – I guess we all have those days, don’t we? Glad to hear you are slowly but surely coming out of that rut. As always, I will be doing NaNo as well this year. I can’t wait!

  4. Anonymous says:

    Midnight Musings from a creativity-starved fellow college student:

    There is nothing more terrifying than a blank page.

    Somehow, the seemingly endless white space becomes a symbol of nothing done, nothing accomplished, nothing to show for. It comes to light that if you die tomorrow, the world will continue on without a hitch. You are not vital, or beloved, or significant in any important fashion.

    When you start to write and are confronted with a blank page, it is easy to realize how much your life resembles a blank page. Always afraid to start writing, start doing, for fear that it won’t be good enough, that nothing you do could ever possibly make a ripple in the world.

    White is the color of blindness. White is the color of fear. White is the color of never starting life all for a lack of confidence.

    Sometimes, you just need to start writing. The first thought to arrive in your brain. Sometimes, when you walk into a subway station the first car to arrive is the right one. And if it isn’t, you can always hop off and onto the next one. But if you keep on waiting at the station for that one, perfect car to arrive, you might just stand there forever.

    It’s hard to see the entire shape of a story when you only have the first line.

    It might be impossible to recognize the right subway from the outside. Perhaps you can only begin to see the possibilities by stepping past the threshold, into the car, and being swept along inside the concrete tunnels to some unknown destination.

    As a story takes shape, its content can inform you. By adding splashes of black type, the blank page can become a mirror. Something instead of nothing. Seeing the beginning as you start the slow climb out of blindness and fear. Forced to think, to contemplate, to reflect.

    When you look at your life and all you see is a blank page, write. Hop on the first thought to race past your mind, and then follow it to the next, and the next. Every moment another destination rushes by, abruptly visible, visited, past, fading, gone.

    Keep on writing. Eventually you will hit another blank page. Scroll up, look back for encouragement, but don’t stay too long. Fill up the next blank page. Keep on hopping subway cars. Follow your thoughts, write them down for prosperity. Because if you do die tomorrow, the yesterday you will live on in perpetuity. Words can do that to a person.

    There is nothing more terrifying than a blank page today, except for a blank page tomorrow.

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