Back in February while I was still in Lubbock, I dreamed about being back home in Lake Charles, LA and all the time I would spend in cafés, sipping on the decadent lattes I love and writing.
I moved back to Lake Charles on March 1.
I have been in no cafés since my return.
I have had no decadent lattes.
Just the sexy coffee I make at home.
A lot of things, mostly being tired from the move, dealing with a lot of emotional, mental, spiritual, physical baggage in the transition from TX to LA. Mostly being from trying to get my mind to work so that I could focus on my dissertation. Mostly being from trying to find ways to supplement my income.
But the truth, the real truth?
I had no desire to write.
Cafés have always been inspirational places for me. I think to be a writer is to be nosy, and I am a nosy person. LOL. I like to sit in a corner of a café, laptop on, latte hot, and watch and hear the people around me. There is something about the grinding of coffee and the frothing of milk and the mundane snippets of conversations and eyeing the books people carry back to tables to peruse and seeing how people dress and interact that excites me and revvs my creative energy to perform.
But it had been … and has been … a long time since I felt the urge to write. Since I finished Into the Web back in December 2011, there has been little creative writing. A short story here or there, but no novel and no desire to write one either.
I don’t call it Writer’s Block. I don’t believe in Writer’s Block. I believe there’s a time to write, and it’s either there or it’s not. Yes, I could make myself write, but I know me, and I know it would be crap, and though people constantly say that writing is more about rewriting than the actual initial writing of a book, the front-end excitement and preparation I do before I ever put a word on the page helps me to not have to do 100 revisions of a work.
I know that life has a way of getting in the way and keeping me (and others I know) from writing, but as a fiction professor once told me while I was part-time teaching and working on my creative thesis, “If you can’t find the time to write NOW, you will never find the time to write.” At the time, I laughed and thought, When would I ever be a writer, student, teacher, and thesis writer? Enter me being a writer, doctoral candidate, full-time teacher, and dissertation writer. Good words to live by: you should never think of or wish for something that can come back and bite you on the arse!
Life has gotten away from me. Even while in the midst of this, I never thought, Perhaps I’ll go to the café and be inspired to write as I thought I needed to be sparked first to write before I went to the café.
Fortunately, in the last week or two, while I’ve been writing little 79-word stories daily that originated after I submitted one to Esquire‘s Short Short Fiction contest, I’ve felt that passion churn in my belly and in my heart and in my mind.
But I shouldn’t … and you shouldn’t … wait until you get the spark back to go to places, to do the things that can inspire the writing to come forward. Lattes and cafés have always been a part of my writing world. Even while in Lubbock, I noticed I was more apt to write (creatively and academically) if I was up early in a café, spending my morning around caffeine and books. Those two things should have never left my life because writing IS a part of my life.
If there are places, things that are integral to your writing life, take part in them, experience them as much as you can, especially when you feel the lull in your writing spirit, for they can provide the literary nourishment you need to put fingers to keys and CREATE.