Distracted by the Pause

For over thirty minutes I have been staring at a blank computer screen: an endless electronic field of fresh snow leading the rational mind-set to fall into a pattern of random daydreams and wandering speculations. A small-scale tundra consisting of a layer of rime, frost.

Okay, to be honest, the time frame established is a lie. In reality, the time interval averages out to a scant thirty days without product or completion of a project. Thirty days of mild frustrations and irritations have passed without major output. The small spark of inspiration which leaped into fruition at the close of July remains a miniature ember of creativity by mid-August. In fact, up to the middle of the year, I have allowed a heavy sense of apprehension prevent me from formulating any development towards my search for a publisher. It is easy to find excuses and blame circumstances, blame outside influences, rather than blaming the primary source— but here I am, once again complaining about past actions, over-dwelling on recorded events and not focusing on dramatically changing the course of habitual patterns.

This process of inactivity seems common. The Twitter account of @Poejazzi posted a laughable-precise pie-chart about inspirational projects. Created by Shaun Lynch, the diagram exposes the full experience of Artistic Creation.
The diagram (even in jest) proves a point: we all avoid processing out our ideas in full detail. We are easily distracted by the pause, the hesitation between actions. That brief inaction after placement of a period on the page. The moment a pen touches down on a blank page or a laptop opens out a empty document screen. Terror sets in.

For me at least, that brief moment, that terse pause starts a cycle of analyzing, reanalyzing, dissecting, and reexamining— rethinking the whole point behind a project’s main intentions. However. This week a more positive shift occurred, with clear opportunities falling into place for sending out query letters and for bundling manuscripts out into the cold world for editors’ eyes. I have to remind myself to seek out the positive possibilities which exist in almost any situation, rather than sit and stare at my laptop for hours on end, thinking only of the rejections.

And too, more poems were produced this year using new writing exercises. These new poems produce a strong feeling of completion. They stand out on the page as book poems; words with a voice. —with a purpose. An aspect of the greening which breaks through the arctic ice, revealing a hidden continent below.


  1. You are not alone. Procrastination is a favourite state of being for me...
    Though I've begun to see the 'pause' as essential.
    And sometimes - in fact all of the time - when I'm seemingly in full pause I must actually be nurturing and growing and ideas for some of my best work (creative and for my paid employment) seems to come unbidden from my pen.
    I enjoyed your metaphors, Glen. And in a strange way, I think that your anxiety about creating is an essential part of your creativity.

  2. — and thus I talk about it a lot. (Perhaps too much.)

    1. Nah not too much! I'd tell you if I thought you did that!


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