A summer funk

Wednesday, July 17, 2019

I was talking to a friend the other day about the internet and creating online--how I'd had so many ideas and outlines for summer blog posts. But when it came time to flesh them out and actually write said posts, my motivation fizzled. 'Is any of this interesting? Am I producing good writing? Or am I just contributing to the noise online?'

And the oh-so-original, all-important 'what if no one cares?'

 I think frequently about how difficult it is to find good blog posts that are either a) interesting or b) useful in a practical or applicable way...for instance, I'm not a parent or a doctor, but I find pregnancy posts or daily routines of a third year medical student equally fascinating. Plant posts, essential oils, and DIYs? Not so much. For someone else, that might speak to them. That's okay...I just know it's not aimed at me and move on. A bonus is reading one that also speaks to me and where I am in life right now: life organization, jobs, mental health, books and podcast recommendations, interiors, and such.

Another part of my writing paralysis is that I'm most inspired by fall and winter. Someone on Instagram mentioned that it feels quieter online right now--people are on vacation, kids are home from school, summer household projects are in full swing.  It's just a different rhythm than it is during the school year. Even though most of the working world operates on a calendar year (ah, to have summers off again!), so much of our lives are tied to the seasonal periods of fall and spring. School, restaurant hours, clubs and organizations, extra-curricular activities, sports, etc. etc. etc. All of these begin again during the academic year

I truly believe we're made for seasonal rhythms, and summer has a rhythm of its own. Slow and hazy, it can either be a whirlwind of travel that most of us can't squeeze in during the rest of the year or it can feel like a drawn-out exhale (if you live in a college town, that is). Or, depending on your job or position (retail, camps, vacation bible school), it's a crazy bedlam that leaves little time to for anything besides cold showers and collapsing into bed before getting up to do it all over again.

For me, it was a relief to acknowledge that it's ok for summer to be a quieter time, writing and creating-wise. I can give myself permission to not feel as inspired or pressured to post. Instead, I'm working on my ideas for fall and looking forward.

All that to say, I think summer can be a funny time. Things are quieter in real life and online; friends and family are traveling; and something about these hot, humid days lends itself well to just being in a funk. Feeling stuck and left behind. Unsure and hesitant.

I try to remind myself that nothing will make my writing more worthwhile than it already is. Not a book, not a magazine column, not a multitude of comments.

Inevitably, though, I slip into thinking, "oh, well, this is what I would write about if I had a larger audience or if I was writing a piece for a magazine..." But that's not the point or the reason why I write. I try to remind myself of what Anne Lamott said:

"...try to bust yourself gently
of the fantasy that publication will heal you,
that it will fill the Swiss-cheesy holes inside of you.
It won't. But writing can."

I fail, most times. But isn't that the joy and wonder of the internet? That any of us, with no book deal, no acceptance letter from a journal or magazine or online publication, can create something to be shared?

Art, writing, photographs, illustrations, calligraphy, cards, clothes, jewelry, prints, anything really. And those of us who don't feel the urge to create or share our creations can be a consumer, a supporter, a cheerleader and encourager of makers and business owners on the internet.

What a time to be alive.


  1. Replies
    1. As did I, girl! One of those 'say it aloud and maybe it'll sink in for me' moments.

  2. This really spoke to me, Grace. It's comforting to know I'm not alone in feeling this way.

    1. Very much not alone, Meaghan--I was skimming through my blog post drafts feeling unoriginal and in said funk and almost didn't write this!

  3. Reading this a bit late but resonating with it so much. Thank you for writing! And cheers to whatever the autumn may bring us.

    1. Cheers to autumn indeed--and these dog days of summer, funks and all. Thank you for reading!