Aimlessness Vs Inspiration

17 Aug

After ten solid years of writing, years which included nine novels, six novellas, two non-fiction books, and over two-thousand short stories and essays, I find myself in a weird place.

No, it’s not writer’s block. I have plenty of ideas. Hell, I’ve got two novels which are both partially-written at the time of this writing, and I have countless ideas for short stories bouncing around in my head.

More naps these days

It’s more a matter of concentration and desire, or a lack thereof.  I’m simply not enthralled with writing at this moment, and I haven’t been for at least a month now.  Writing has been a passion of mine for so long now that it seems strange not to be consumed by it, but that’s where I find myself. There are other things I would rather do. I would rather walk the dogs. I would rather work on projects in the backyard. I would rather do research about RVs and daydream about taking a prolonged RV adventure. I would rather spend time with Bev.

Maybe the heat of the summer has zapped me of my desire to write. Maybe this is some post-pandemic mental lull.  Or maybe it is something more long-lasting.  Whatever it is, my writing output is diminishing and I don’t much care whether it is or not.  It’s not that I don’t enjoy writing any longer; it’s just that I don’t enjoy doing as much of it as I once did.

It is what it is, simple as that.  One way or another, it will all work out.  I’ll just get up each morning and do what feels right for me, and we’ll see where that takes me.

In the meantime, take care.  Be good to yourself.  I’ll catch you down the Road of Life.  I’m not going anywhere. I just won’t be nearly as prolific as I have been for over a decade, and the frequency of when I publish this blog will reflect that.


“Helping writers to spread their wings and fly.”

33 Responses to “Aimlessness Vs Inspiration”

  1. Shauna L Bowling August 17, 2021 at 2:00 pm #

    Bill, what’s happening with you is your soul is telling you what it needs. Walk the dogs. Work on your home projects. Research RVs and for cryin’ out loud, load up Bev and the dogs and go see the wild blue yonder! There’s more to life than writing. There’s life to live, not just write about.

    Get up each morning and follow your heart. Your muse will nudge you when she senses you need her.

    Now grab the leashes, Bev’s hand and go have some fun!

    • Billybuc August 17, 2021 at 3:47 pm #

      Sha, Bev retires in one year and four months. We want to hit the ground running when that day arrives, so we are planning, planning, and preparing. Whatever we end up doing, it will look much different than today looks. Thanks for always being here. Great advice, my friend.

  2. phoenix2327 August 17, 2021 at 2:09 pm #

    Hi Bill.

    This is me all over. For years, I used to enjoy cross-stitch and did it every day for hours on end. Then I stopped. I still enjoyed it but there were so many others things I wanted to do. I wanted to spend time with my family before the kids flew the nest and became busy with their own lives. I wanted to spend time in nature going for long walks and photographing it all. I wanted to write stories and take up crocheting and broaden my culinary skills. I spent a great deal of time chasing my own tail trying to do it all.

    Then one day I asked myself, ‘Why? What’s the rush? Will the world implode if you don’t devote every waking moment to every single activity?’ So I stopped. And you know what? The world kept ticking over just fine.

    Nowadays, I just take it as it comes. If one day I feel like cross-stitching I will. If it’s a sunny day and I feel motivated off I go for walk, camera in hand. Maybe this weekend I’ll try my hand at making a coconut custard pie. Or maybe just write down some random thoughts and see where that leads.

    It sounds to me that your priorities are changing and not that you’ve lost your zest for writing. It’s your life, Bill. You do you. Admit it, isn’t it more fun and intriguing to do what you’d rather than what you ought to? We’re fortunate, you and I, that we’re in a position to do exactly that.

    Have a great day, Bill, whatever you do.

    • Billybuc August 17, 2021 at 3:46 pm #

      “You do you”…love that advice, Zulma. As soon as I figure out what that is, I’ll do it. Today I go meet with the doctor for a final discussion about hip replacement. I am absolutely dreading that talk. It’s not the operation that bothers me. It’s being laid up for weeks afterwards, not active, blah, blah, and blah. I think I need to find a way to make it a positive experience and recuperation, eh?

      Have a fantastic week, my friend, and thank you.

      • phoenix2327 August 18, 2021 at 10:26 am #

        Oh, that’s right. It’s coming up soon, isn’t it? I know it’s hard but try not to stress over what might be. Wasted energy, that is. See what the doc has to say and take it from there. And If you’re going to be laid up anyway, I suppose you could fit some writing in. lol The pups might miss going for walks with Dad though. 😦

        As for ‘you do you’, you’re already doing that, Bill. No need to overthink it. Just go with your flow. 🙂

        Good luck with your consultation and have a great day.

      • Billybuc August 18, 2021 at 1:35 pm #

        Thank you, Zulma! The consultation went well, I guess, although I failed at talking him out of the surgery. It will be late September, I guess. Carry on I shall!

      • Shell Vera August 19, 2021 at 10:05 pm #

        Reading through comments always feel like eavesdropping but Zulma’s advice was great AND I am praying about the hip surgery.

        You noted maybe turning it into a positive experience… maybe a good opportunity to challenge yourself to enjoy downtime. When I hurt my back in 2019, I ended up picking an actor a day and watched movies only with that actor. It became a bit of a game to start seeing how many days it would take to get through one actor. Then for books, I read through the YA section at our small, local library. YA def isn’t what it was when I was a kid.

  3. nightlake August 17, 2021 at 3:14 pm #

    You may want to explore painting or some other art forms. They may keep your creative side stimulated. But do whatever you feel like. It is more important to be happy than force yourself to write.

    • Billybuc August 17, 2021 at 3:33 pm #

      Good words of advice, Nightlake. Thank you for them. I hope this finds you doing well.

  4. divalounger August 17, 2021 at 3:48 pm #

    I get it Bill–I wish I had a dime for every time I find myself diverted. This simply means you need to do other things for a while. Writers need to just live sometimes–even the most prolific of them–I find myself in a weird place as well–not quite the same place as yours right now, but similar. I have been sending poems out for publication for the past couple of years now and having some success that way, but I find that process so tedious- it can take months for journals to get back to you–I need to find another, more immediate outlet for my writing–so much the instant gratification thing with me–not sure where this is taking me–still writing a bunch though–I feel like I am all dressed up and have nowhere to go.

    • Billybuc August 17, 2021 at 4:05 pm #

      Thank you Audrey! I get it. It’s one reason why I quit submitting work to magazines and other publishers. I need feedback of some sort. I don’t do well in a vacuum. Sigh! I’m going to assume that inspiration will arrive on my doorstep soon and I’ll figure it all out sooner rather than later. Thank you my friend.

  5. manatita44 August 17, 2021 at 3:54 pm #

    Can’t see my comment of some 2 hours ago. Anyway, hip operations are pretty good now. You will recover very fast! Some initial pain and recovery from anaesthetics. Sort out the rehab while in hospital. It’s easier. Should come with the package but check. Physio is imperative!

    • Billybuc August 17, 2021 at 4:01 pm #

      Thanks Manatita! Actually, no hospital stay. It is an outpatient procedure now, if you can believe it. In the morning, back home the afternoon. Blows my mind!

  6. Graham Alan Lee August 17, 2021 at 4:03 pm #

    Always an inspiration to us all Bill. Take the time you need call it a day or come back and kick butt. Look after both of you my friend life is what we make it. Meanwhile thanks from me.

    • Billybuc August 17, 2021 at 4:07 pm #

      Graham, that is very kind of you. I can’t imagine not writing at all, but right now I can’t imagine keeping up this pace. There are other things calling to me. 🙂 Thanks for your wonderful support.

  7. marlenebertrand August 17, 2021 at 4:36 pm #

    Oh, Bill, I do understand. I am in that same boat.

    You have been such an inspiration to me.

    There were times I would simply not want to write and then I would feel guilty (just a little) that I was not writing. But the thing that kept me going was the friends I met through writing. My writing friends motivated me to stay interested and writing was fun. And now the platform that got me started on my writing journey has pretty much done away with comradery. Oh well, it was a good run.

    Now, my friend, it is so hard to imagine you not writing. Still, I understand. You work hard. It is time to take a break. Just please stop by to say hello every now and then.

    • marlenebertrand August 17, 2021 at 4:38 pm #


    • Billybuc August 17, 2021 at 5:00 pm #

      You can’t get rid of me that easily, Marlene. lol I’m not going anywhere. I just night be as visible on a regular basis as I have been. I still don’t now. I just know I am finding it harder and harder to find the time to write, and that is a matter of priorities, not lack of time. Writing is no longer the #1 priority for me.

      Anyway, I love our friendship, and you are stuck with me.

  8. Manatita 44 August 17, 2021 at 5:26 pm #

    Yes. Science has come a long way! You will do well much faster than you think! Shauna is right. The soul talks to us. I said recently that I find it hard to read a novel now. I’m so used to spiritual literature, that my soul struggles with other things. Perhaps it’s like being a vegan and returning to meat. So I hear.

    I did say initially that you should take Bev to Ibiza or somewhere. I also did try to scare you with this aphorism of Sri Chinmoy: “Before it leaves the body, each soul feels that it has wasted time.” Just so you could do the needful with Bev. Chuckle.

    Anyway, I told Misbah that Allah gives us everything. The bad and the gifts. But you know all that stuff. You are moving with the Tao. Peace.

    • Billybuc August 18, 2021 at 1:39 pm #

      Moving with the Tao…not a bad activity, Manatita. I can do that, my friend. I’ve been training all my life for such moments. Blessings to you, Manatita! May your day be filled with love.

  9. lindasue52 August 17, 2021 at 9:25 pm #

    Oh my goodness Bill, you’re normal. You have other Muses, and they’ve been feeling mighty neglected. Focus on the things in life that matter the most to you. Feed your relationships and your soul. You’re always telling us that love is all that matters. Love those around you, love your life, and love and take care of yourself.

    • Billybuc August 18, 2021 at 1:37 pm #

      Thank you, Linda, and love to you, dear friend.

  10. María Magdalena Ruiz O'Farril August 17, 2021 at 9:54 pm #

    Hey Bill, I understand your words like if you went into my brain or soul. I’m preparing my van to hit the road … Perhaps aging calls us to walk. I also enjoy walking my dogs and riding a bicycle is like having wings. Sometimes we just need to just be.
    “I’ll catch you down the Road of Life.” Nice said. Blessings!

    • Billybuc August 17, 2021 at 10:55 pm #

      Maria, I love it! Safe travels to you, my friend. Thanks for the encouragement and for leading by example.

  11. My Very Own Writing Coach August 18, 2021 at 10:39 am #

    Sad to hear we might not be hearing from you as much, but I think I’m at the same place. Take some time to live. Then there will be more to write about – if you want. Anyway, it’s not a bad thing. There is so much to life. Writing is just a small part. Carry on, my friend!

    • Billybuc August 18, 2021 at 1:34 pm #

      Carry on I shall, William. And you are correct, perhaps I will be infused with great inspirations when I pick up the pen full-time again. Thank you sir!

  12. 1authorcygnetbrown August 18, 2021 at 12:03 pm #

    I know what you mean.To everything, there is a season. I had not published a book since January of 2019 and am now finally publishing one. I hadn’t been writing my blog. I hadn’t been keeping up with my newsletter. I was focused mainly on the homestead project and getting the gardens in order.

    In May that changed. I started selling my books, cookies, and produce at the farmers’ market. I started writing three articles per day for Medium. I did that for three weeks. Then I cut down to one per day. Now I am at five per week. I am now also in the process of publishing another book about, you guessed it. Gardening!

    I say, just go with your season and don’t worry about how productive you are in a specific area. You’re a self-publisher for a reason. You want to be free to explore life on your own terms.

    • Billybuc August 18, 2021 at 1:30 pm #

      Thanks for the encouragement, Donna! I’m happy to hear things are going well for you, my friend.

      • 1authorcygnetbrown August 27, 2021 at 11:26 am #

        Thanks! Enjoy your down time!

  13. Shell Vera August 19, 2021 at 10:00 pm #

    Waking up and going where the day takes isn’t such a bad thing. When I was writing and coaching full time, I started to lose my Love for writing when not “on the clock”. Now I’m slowly getting back to doing it again for the love of it.

    Naps are such a beautiful thing and spending tome with people we love as well. Those make the heart happy.

    Thanks for reminding me I’m not alone in being a writer with ideas on a computer that aren’t being explored with the pen or keystrokes as much as I feel I’m “supposed to” as a writer. I have finally just given myself grace with it but it’s good to know someone else I respect deeply is experiencing the same thing.

    • Billybuc August 20, 2021 at 2:44 pm #

      Thank you Shell! I need to learn to stop and smell the roses, and in the process learn to enjoy just living rather than feeling like I need to be doing all the time. It’s a tough habit to break, but in reality time is running out for me to learn that lesson. I appreciate you taking the time to comment. I like your idea about taking one actor and going through their entire body of work. That might be fun. I’ll certainly have time to do that. 🙂 Six weeks of recovery seems like an eternity to me.

      • Shell Vera August 22, 2021 at 8:45 pm #

        Six weeks is enough time to change a life, make a new habit, etc. And to watch every movie made by Robert DeNiro, Al Pacino, Edward Norton, Sandra Bullock, Brad Pitt, Adam Sandler, and Hillary Swank movie. Hypothetically speaking of course. 😉

      • Billybuc August 23, 2021 at 3:28 pm #

        Hypothetically, of course! LOL

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