Monday, May 15, 2017

It Only Takes A Spark

While I was on the treadmill this morning, a commercial came on the television I watch to pass the time. It was the new Chevrolet commercial about finding the Canadian dream. Every time I watch it, something new catches my eye and today it was the image of the children drumming while the teacher, in the centre of the drum circle, whirled around pointing at each of them, encouraging them to drum faster, louder, harder.
And I thought, "I've lost that spark."

Not the spark but a spark.
The spark that drives my writing is still present, still very sparkly. But the spark for other things, for community involvement and writing workshops, for putting myself out into the world with creativity and passion, seems to be snuffed out.
I'm calling it a spark but it's a passion. It's that feeling of a passion for something that feels like it is missing. 
I'm not sure if this is normal, in a post-first publication time. I'm not sure if it's simply that I have so many writing projects to work on that they are soaking up all my energy and directing all my passion into them. It's a weird feeling, actually, a bit of lonely, a bit of off-kilter. Right now, post-book publication, I don't feel like I have anything to offer.
Which seems to be the opposite of what I should feel like.

Except that -- and I'm working this out as I write -- I really, really want to write the sample essays for the book proposal for a new collection of essays, and I really, really want to write that novel inspired by something that happened to my husband as a young man, and I really, really want to write more stories to go in a "Moon Tide" collection.
There is so much to do. Am I overwhelmed and thus swamping the passion? Sometimes I don't know which project to work on next. 

Except that I must be missing that spark because I felt my response to that commerical, and it was more than the elevated heart rate from being on the treadmill.
I wonder what it means, to believe I've lost my passion. It could be fear; the last couple of workshops I offered in my home area, no one signed up for them and that brings out the self-consciousness and the reluctance to put myself -- my creativity and my passion -- out there again.
That is likely the answer.
The only solution I know about questioning something, about feeling like something is missing, about feeling self-conscious and insecure is to ignore the doubts and focus on what I can work on, to type so fast I fan the writing spark into a dancing orange flame, and hope the answer flows out of my fingers and onto the page where I can see it.


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