distraction no.99

Nova Ren Suma | On Writing & Writing Distractions

Not an Author Newsletter… something else.

Symbolism (Lost)

I tried to communicate with someone at work, but my blank email meant nothing to her. I tried to explain that it was an artistic representation of how I was feeling at the moment, as shown here:

…But she didn’t get it.

My blank mood occurred directly after an email forward saying:


Right now, I feel just ——————————–

You know?

Maybe not. I feel so misunderstood right now, made worse by the fact that I can’t find the words to explain myself. Why are you down? No real reason. What do you want to do about it? Nothing. What are you doing this morning? Well, I’m up early but I’m not exactly writing. My inspiration has escaped and without it there’s not too much left.

Fact is, I started a new book. Not symbolically… actually. I’m at the very beginning stage, the tip, the edge, my toes just touching the water now. The going was smooth for a few days, and then—

And then here we are. Only day four and the doubt has set in. Maybe I shouldn’t have gone back through my email archives to read old rejection letters, huh? Seeing the news about a certain fellowship made me skid a little last night. (Thanks, Jade, for posting that. I’d rather know now.) A mouse in the apartment did not help. A possible problem with my new computer—for which I’d have to send it in—did not help.

I’m just feeling, I don’t know, a little

I’ll find the words to explain it tomorrow.

12 responses to “Symbolism (Lost)”

  1. A blank email is pretty funny and if you think on it, you can certainly understand why she didn’t get it. It is incredibly expressive though.

    Fight through day four. Forget about the negatives and concentrate on the positives. I keep remembering that part of the letter you did post — “you are a wonderful story teller.” Hold on to that. A “story teller” and “wonderful.” Wonderful words.

  2. I’ve been there before too, on the edge of it now. Usually introspection works for me, look inward and find the cause. Even if I can’t find solutions, knowing the cause always helps. But, I know, not everyone is good at introspection. Hope you feel better soon.

  3. Sometimes you’ll find no words to describe what you are feeling. You’ll only come across this


    The story will wait for you to taste those creative juices again…just takes patience…one of the hardest things these days to hold onto.

    Hang in there! 😉

  4. Dude. yeah. I got nuthin. I get like that sometimes. It’s not the best place to be, but not the worst. It’s made more difficult by a) having to be around people all day at work who want to know what’s wrong and b)feeling it necessary- no matter how impossible it is- to explain yourself. Even if it’s just to yourself.

    I wish I were there to squeeze your hand.

  5. I have no doubt in your talent. We all know that doubt is—well, let’s not say natural, but it’s forever there, and it’ll especially rear its ugly head if we read those rejection letters. So I wonder this: Perhaps it was necessary for you to read them, in order to close the door to these rejections, they’re past, done with, finito, you’ve learned many things since then, whether from a year ago or from a few days ago, and thus leaving wide open the door to the possibilities of your new project. Four days of inspired writing is really brilliant, and more will most certainly, definitely come.

  6. You’re going to be fine. I can tell from your blog that you’re a wonderful writer…and everybody gets bogged down in doubt from time to time. The cure, as a writer friend of mine is fond of saying, is in the writing itself, never in thinking about what will happen to the writing after you’re finished with it. Just force yourself to set aside all doubts–as Anne Lamott suggests in “Bird by Bird,” put all those doubting voices and those rejection letter writers in in a little airless jar and screw the lid on tight and watch them fling themselves against the glass, while you go and write. You’re wonderful! And this doubt is natural, we all go through it, but it’s a trap. It’s fear of something, and the writing will heal you.

  7. I hope since you wrote this the doubt has subsided and you’re feeling better and I hope the weekend treats you right.

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