When is a writer not a writer? (pity party alert)

My apologies right off the top for a dreary post.

My question is: When is a writer not a writer?  No, this is not a riddle. Then maybe again it is … but I have no real answer for it. Maybe you do?

I’m tired. No, let me say that again … I’m so tired.

And I don’t feel particularly creative. My well is low – on motivation, energy, inspiration, ideas, stamina. Maybe it’s because I’m tired. And a little discouraged. And feeling a bit forgotten. Now, is that a great menu for a pity party, or what!

My creative well is rather plugged up with stuff, such as – lack of quality sleep (aware all the time while “on duty”, then at home it’s hard to relax from that), caregiving concerns (situation is getting more involved as Alzheimer’s gets worse), always trying to balance two households (but not knowing enough about my own anymore)

physical pain (more since I had a fall a week ago, so add to the list an x-ray tomorrow AM), seeming to be invisible when it comes to the fellowship I was part of (probably “out of sight out of mind” because I seldom get there now), not having much interaction with writers (really need an ‘anytime chat’ place), needing a vacation (every second week at my own home is not a vacation), missing the ocean (my healing place), I have books to read and reviews to write (love doing both, time is a factor), I’m WAY behind in my emails and blog (many other demands and concerns),

and —

I hate that I sound like such a whiner!

Of course, my sister also has her own set of life stuff going on along with our caregiving commitment. It’s always interesting!

Okay, I need a hug. Where is my grandson when I need him?

There must be an up side to all this. Yes, of course there is.

  • 1. Our loved one gets to stay in his own home for as long as we can help him.
  • 2. We get the privilege of honouring him through giving of our time for him.
  • 3. My sister and I are learning as we go while also learning to work together to make a stressful situation workable.
  • 4.  We have fibre optics here! 😉
  • 5. …  hmm     5. … ?

I’m sure there’s more to add but right now I can’t think of it. (Was that you I heard say, “Good!”) This has been a writing exercise for me if nothing else, and hopefully my next post will be more upbeat after the tropical storm and hurricane pass tonight and tomorrow.

By the way, I don’t believe it’s writer’s block that’s got me in this place, it’s weariness and life stuff. Otherwise I could take some tips from my own Writer’s Helps page. 🙂

In the meantime, can you answer my question? When is a writer not a writer? What do you do when you not only can’t come up with ideas but you hardly are interested in trying?

Thanks for reading, and … Creative Musings!  🙂



14 responses to “When is a writer not a writer? (pity party alert)

  1. You are not a writer when you decide you are one.


  2. You are still a writer.

    You are just a writer who is too darned busy to write.

    Tending an Alzheimer’s patient is a full-time job.

    Sometimes the spirit just needs a little time to breathe. Put the pen down for a while. Focus on what you’re doing. Forget about “trying” to write.

    Listen, I guarantee that sooner or later if you focus entirely on what needs to be immediately done your creative spirit is going to get fed up and bored with all of the day to day humdrum tedium. Then your creative spirit will look at you and say – in that quiet and loving way that most creative spirits speak with – “Holy old baldheaded Moses I’m bored stiff! LET ME WRITE!”

    And then you’ll write something. A word, a sentence, a paragraph. Hell, it doesn’t need to be anything grand. Are you on a freaking quota? Will the universe stop being if you don’t write umpteen thousand words in the next six minutes?

    Look at this way.

    We had a long hot summer.

    The wells have been drying up.

    Did people panic? Did you hear country folk running saying “Oh my golly we don’t have water?”

    The rain that Hurricane Leslie brought has been properly gulped into those thirsty well-holes.

    (this is all technical talk – you understand)

    Give your well a chance to fill up on its own. You keep pumping on that pump handle you’re bound to break it off.

    Tend to the busy work that life has laid out before you. Your creative spirit is just chilling for a while.

    Hope that helps.


  3. Listen to Steve, he really hit the nail on the head. One really big thing for me, when I’m struggling with the written word, is feeling the need to write something, anything when I just don’t have it in me. It only adds to the frustration. If I end up writing at all, I usually hate it, and that’s no good. Relax and don’t worry. You won’t wake up one morning and not be a writer. It’s what you do and who you are. Right now there are other distractions, and they are important. Your writing will be there for you whenever your creativity kicks in. We can’t force a plant to grow anymore than we can force our words onto the page. *hugs* We all have those days!


    • Thanks, Laura. Those days have turned into weeks for me, but I will wade through and hope for something wonderfully creative to come bursting out of the fog. 🙂
      Thanks for the encouragement. I very much appreciate the hugs. Thank you.


  4. Oh Lynn, my heart is aching so about what you are dealing with. Lack of sleep is the main problem. Here’s what I did last summer (a year ago) when I was caring for my mother who has white matter dementia. At that point in the disease she was not sleeping at night and I was taking care of her 3 nights a week. (Less than what you are doing!) I couldn’t sleep during the day because my house, plus my dad in law’s house next door and the guest house were full of house guests. SO….the only way I could cope was to try to control my discouragement. I definitely vented to my family, friends, and to God. You’ve done this in your blog and don’t you DARE apologize for it. That’s necessary!
    2 things that also helped last summer and during the 5 years I was the caregiver for my mom in law who had Alzheimer’s:
    1. I didn’t let myself think about anything that made me mad, sad or feel bad.
    2. I counted small blessings – a sparrow singing in a tree – sun glinting on the bay. AND I asked God to help me see those small blessings.

    Also, to answer your question about when is a writer not a writer. When we lost our first baby daughter to meningitis, I couldn’t SEE my daughter. I couldn’t HEAR my daughter. I couldn’t HOLD my daughter. But I still LOVED my daughter. I was still a MOTHER.
    Right now you don’t have time or energy to write, but you still LOVE the act of writing, of creating. You’re still a WRITER.

    Loving you, praying for you.


    • Dear Sue, I admire you so much with all you have had to contend with and yet you encourage me.

      Yes, the main culprit is lack of sleep. Without enough sleep our brains and bodies just cannot be and do all they are intended to be and do. Even when help comes in so I can take a break I can’t seem to relax enough, but maybe I’ll catch on eventually. 🙂

      Five years, Sue? We’ve been at this 1.5 years with no idea of how much longer it will or can be. It’s a frightening prospect so we try not to dwell on that part of it, but our plan is to stick with it for as long as it is reasonable to do so. There are many factors involved, as you well know. My sister and I find that the more ‘outside people’ suggest nursing homes, the more we resent their lack of sensitivity and understanding. It’s just not that simple. Our loved one is not someone to move out of the way to make our lives easier.

      Oh, I can so relate to the small blessings. Things that make me feel mad, sad or bad have had the upper hand this week, but God lightens my heart through nature. I love watching the birds and the comical antics of the chipmunks and squirrels in the yard and bird feeders. There is one young squirrel that is hilarious and always makes me laugh.

      Thank you for your love and prayers, Sue. I will keep reminding myself .. I am still a WRITER.
      Bless you.


  5. You just wrote how you feel. You wrote it really well 🙂 I think that’s a writer.
    I’m not sure if that helps, but here’s Plan B – A BIG **Cyber Hug** 😉
    I am sorry to hear that you fell. I will say a prayer so you’ll feel better! 🙂 When I feel down, I try to do things I really enjoy (like playing with LEGOs or reading a book).
    I hope tomorrow is much better for you! 😀
    Erik 🙂


  6. A writer is not a writer…(or somebody becomes nobody) when they give up. You, my dear, have NOT given up; you are existing on fumes…you are just surviving, you are drained.

    Go out and get pumped. As Julia Cameron preaches, you need a cultural date with yourself in order to inspire and motivate yourself again. Go out and experience art and/or nature.

    Give yourself a break, a breather, a mini-vacation even if it is for fifteen minutes of doing nothing but sitting out in Nature, stroking a pet, hugging a loved one, having coffee or tea out in a local venue (outdoors if possible). Take time to schedule some joy for you.

    I am delighted to see you wrote about it! Awareness is the first step; acknowledging it is second, honoring it is third, now you can create a plan of action and then execute it. (Plan to be spontaneous…LOL).

    With blessings of love and joy,
    Dr. Angi


    • Thank you for this comment, Dr. Angi.
      When/if we are approved for more help I may be able to take time away for a few hours now and then. I will have to make the effort to do that for myself, I guess. Thank you for the reminder.
      I love planning to be spontaneous. 😉


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