I'm not knitting.

A woman sitting across from me at Starbucks is knitting a sock. When I sat down, she’d just turned the heel corner, and she just kept going. She finished the toe as I sat here staring at my laptop, waiting for the words to come.

She made the pair she’s wearing, too. (At least I hope she didn’t spend money on them.)

That lady’s going to leave here with something to show for her work. And warm feet. I came here with a heavy bag and an even heavier heart, and I’ll probably leave with little more than a bad taste in my mouth from the soy in my chai.

There’s this feeling. Like you’re too far gone to bother trying again.
Fought too bitterly, said too many things you regret, to reconcile.
Gained too much weight to show your face again at the gym.
Neglected to write for too long, let the keyboard collect too much dust, to pick it back up again just like that.

Defeatism is almost comforting, giving in to giving up, when everything else seems harder than you’re willing to push for.

 

I’m tired. Happy, generally, but tired. Out but not down.

So much has happened since March 12 that I don’t even know where to start. And because I’m me, I want to start from the beginning and go back over everything.

My nine-hour days have been more like 10 since I started with YouSwoop. The stress is near unbearable; it’s hard not to feel like the success of the site is resting on my shoulders. I cancel most of my social engagements lately to go home, sit with my cat — or walk around with her scampering around and between my feets — and watch Gilmore Girls. My life as I know it will be over when I watch the last episode of the seventh season. When I can scrounge up the brainpower, I work on one of the many freelance projects I’m panicked about just keeping up with, let alone finishing to my satisfaction.

The login page for my site pops up every time I open a fresh browser window; I just shake my head and close it.

I think my biggest fear is not that I’ll lose readers but that all these ideas will go to waste. My writing doesn’t come to me as grand concepts; it comes as sentences or even single words that flower into something I’m proud of. Setting the intention by writing down that word rarely works out; if the feeling doesn’t stay with me fully, the opportunity to get it out with any shred of authenticity goes way. That’s terrifying.

I have a lot of feelings these days. So many of them are good. Despite my long days and stress levels, I’m loving life more than I have in a long time. But there are a lot of word seeds scattered here in this blissed-out, blitzed-out mind that I know won’t even take. There’s no energy for them. But I’m working — again, still — on cutting myself slack while I adjust to all the new, giving the words a little time to find me instead of sitting here grasping for them.

Nothing is ever too far gone. Just hit publish and start again. I’ll have something to show for it at some point.

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14 Responses to “I'm not knitting.”

  1. Deanna Says:

    I have a Pages file on my Desktop called Notes. Random snippets of ideas go there. That way they’re preserved for future use, and it only takes seconds to do this. When I’m ready to sit down and incorporate them into something else…there they are, in one place.

    You don’t HAVE to fully flesh out an idea the moment you have it. You need a mechanism, a system of your own, to capture them. Running purely on intuition and “inspiration” is crippling to artists in any medium and it’s unsustainable, as you’ve recently found, to attempt to harness energy like that. I struggled with that myself for years–the advice above was cribbed from something another artist friend shared with me.

    Also, do you have time for morning pages? I write a minimum of 750 words per day (on 750words.com, in fact). I use it as a brain dump, not for anything important, but it clears my head for more important work.

    Good luck to you in navigating this new existence, friend! You will figure out something for yourself, I’m sure.

  2. Bee Says:

    hi paige! i’m such a fan of your writings and your blog. I happened upon it one day and I’ve been hooked ever since! Pretty recently I actually saw you in line at Gene’s and my eyes lit up like seeing a friend by surprise. Then I realized that you don’t actually know ME! I probably should have said hello, but I had just worked a long day and was so drained. Anyways, just wanted to let you know that readers will remain readers because it’s YOU that we appreciate, that includes the blissed-out, blitzed-out mind of yours too. ;] thanks for being awesome.

    • paigeworthy Says:

      OHHH!! That was you?! You walked out and I was like, “Whoaaaaa, that
      girl was lookin’. at. ME.” I wish you’d said hi! Do you live in the
      neighborhood? I’m dying over here. Thank you SO much for your
      encouragement. I hope our paths cross again!

      ======

      • Rusche Etsy Says:

        haha I figured you must have thought I was crazy!! ;]

        yeah! I live super closeby and work just down the street at Sacred Art near that Starbucks! If you ever try to do Paper Machete again I’m definitely going to try to make it out- Riccochet’s is my jam. (Well, used to be before the remodel!) Hope you have a fantastic rest of the day!! :]

  3. Helena Says:

    I often feel like I’m not sure what it is I’m working toward – like I have little to show for what I’ve done. I think that’s why I like to clean my apartment so at least I have SOMETHING to show for at the end of the day. Sigh.

    I like Deanna’s suggestion of the 750words site – I’m going to check that out myself.

  4. Sean Day Says:

    I know exactly what you mean. I have started carrying around a small notebook to jot down a word when an idea hits (usually while running or driving). This has helped tremendously for piece of mind, to at least get them down before they fly away.

    But if they sit too long in the notebook, the excitement that I felt in the moment drifts away, and what I end up writing does not match what was flying through my head in the moment. And like you said, it lacks authenticity.

    Your style of writing is engaging and honest. You can write about knitting and your character still comes through. I understand the stress over the scattered word seeds, but your next post doesn’t need to use them for a grand return. Just write. We will read. We will enjoy it.

    Glad to hear you are otherwise loving life!

  5. Anonymous Says:

    This is a great post, Paige. Often times, those grand “epiphany-style” blog post ideas come to us at the most random times. For that, I have an Evernote doc. on my desktop and on my phone where I can throw all my ideas. Depending on where it is, I can throw together a prompt, outline or even a full blog post right from Evernote.

    That being said, often times if you just writing, you will find yourself coming up with an idea. With your honest and open writing style, you can make just about anything sound compelling and interesting. Love this blog. 🙂

  6. Amanda Says:

    You just described every. single. project. in my entire life. Even with the baby – sometimes I’m like: Ugh, we haven’t read to him in weeks…screw it, he’ll learn to talk eventually.

    But, as a reader (and fan) of your blog, I can tell you that most of my favorite blogs are the ones that don’t have posts every day. For some reason, they seem to bet the best quality. (Not that this blog is the only writing you do, it’s just the only writing of yours I get to read.)

    • Amanda Says:

      This comment on the other hand is of poor quality. Above when I said “…they seem to bet the best quality” – I meant to say, “…they seem to be of the best quality.”

  7. goingtogermany Says:

    I think that is typical in life every time we embark upon something new. Right now my guitar languishes in the corner during the week. I keep saying I will practice. It’s not that I don’t want to, it’s the time and the moment and the other things crowding it out. Give yourself some more settle in time. It has only been 2 weeks. You’ll find a routine. You’ll carve out some time for getting your blog ideas to bloom. Maybe it will be during your commute time, or in Starbucks, or someplace else, but you’ll find it. If not, I’m sure your anonymous cafe companion would love to show you how to knit socks!!

  8. Storm. Katrina Storm. Says:

    Writing is hard… You shame me as a writer, so to see you feeling like this, breaks my heart. I hope that you get back in your groove… and don’t burn out. I agree with all the other comments… just take things one step at a time… hopefully you’ll find a rhythm you can work with. *big hugs*

  9. Mr. Apron Says:

    Maybe it’s the first time she’s knitting in years.

    You never know.

  10. Anonymous Says:

    Paige,

    You are a brilliant writer. Just let yourself breathe and live. Come back to us (your readers/fans) when your muse inspires you. We’ll all be here (at least, those of us that matter. Who needs fairweather “fans” anyway?)

    You can’t lose me. Even if you stop writing, I’m still going to turn to some of your older posts for inspiration! Plus, we always have twitter….. 🙂

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