Wednesday, October 3, 2018

No Soup for You! Next!


Join Us!

I recently saw Jerry Seinfeld perform on stage, and it was an absolute blast. I literally laughed so hard I cried. And I wasn't the only one. The audience roared with laughter, and we were on our feet in a standing ovation before he even left the stage. When I think about how much talent and hard work it takes to put on not only a show like that, but also a career, a lifetime, like that, it blows my mind. 

I'm in kind of a writing funk. The creative energy is there - or so I'd like to believe! - but it's at a simmer, waiting for me to turn up the heat. Problem is, I don't know what I'm cooking anymore, what I'm creating. French onion soup? Chicken noodle? Chili? A novel? A novella? A collection of stories? Something I've never tasted before?

A very long time ago, I had a recipe, a career plan. I've since swapped some ingredients, changed things up, but the results aren't what I'd imagined. 

I'm trying to figure out what to do next. Keep doing pretty much the same thing, maybe tweak a measurement here and there? Or wing it, throw everything I've got into the pot? It could boil over, spill and stain, burn everything in its path. But it could also, just maybe, bubble and burble, smell oddly delicious - like grilled cheese and new books and the sea! - and possibly end up weirdly tasty . . . .

61 comments:

  1. Oh, that Seinfeld show much have been great! Wish I could have been there too. No matter how many times I have seen the episodes of that show they still make me laugh and laugh.
    I'm kind of in the same boat so I hope we can figure out where we are going next. I like your throwing it all in the pot idea!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Those shows are always good for a laugh. Always!

      It's funny I'm using a cooking reference because I'm not much of a cook. Hmm, wonder what that means for the writing stew.... :o

      Delete
  2. I think you should do something that's not writing related. Find a fair or festival nearby. Do an escape room adventure. (They seem to be in every city now.) Drive to a town you've never been before.

    Just something to shake the leaves off the tree and see what falls. :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Good ideas, Maria - thanks!

      As for the escape room - I have a feeling I would end up giving up, sitting down, and waiting for someone to let me out. Either that or freak out about being trapped. :o

      Delete
  3. I bet that would have been a fun show to see!

    Hopefully, your creative muse will give you some direction soon. In the meantime, pass the soup :-)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. My Muse is not much of a cook, so she better figure out something else to do. And soon!

      Delete
  4. I think the way to get out of a writing funk is to write "something". It works for me.

    Teresa

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I've been doing just that! A contest entry here, some flash fiction there - nothing huge, but it keeps the creativity churning. :)

      Delete
  5. Experimenting along the way is half the joy. It's why I've dabbled in so many genres. I say go for it and see what comes. It's not like anyone but you will see the mess if it explodes, and in the meantime, what fun!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You're right about me being the only one to see the mess. Sometimes I forget that making messes can be fun! :)

      Delete
  6. If I were you, I'd just throw everything into the pot. It is frightening, but you'll never know until you do it. It is often the things that we fear the most that bring out the best in us and we discover a new path.

    Shalom aleichem,
    Pat G @ EverythingMustChange

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Pat, I love your comment! Thank you for that reminder. :)

      Delete
  7. Remember, sometimes you have to eat those kitchen disasters...
    I'm a bit in the same place so I know what you mean.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. As long as I'm the only one who has to eat them - see them? read them? - it's not too bad. I just wouldn't want to inflict them on anyone else.

      Hang in there, too, Alex!

      Delete
  8. That would be so much fun to see Seinfeld! Hopefully you wind your way out of the funk. My life and career goals often change, and sometimes that's hard, but there's still a young woman in my head that wants to be the next Stephen King.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I believe I know a similar young woman. She's lurking inside this now anxiety-ridden, not-as-thin, middle-aged woman. But she's still there. :)

      Delete
  9. You made me want a grilled cheese sandwich. LOL
    I'm feeling the same as you. I'm a bit lost as to what needs to be done with my writing.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Let's split a grilled cheese sandwich and see if we can figure out what we should do next. :)

      Delete
  10. Have you ever heard of Seinfeld's productivity challenge? He credits that with his success. I blogged about it during a long-ago A-to-Z, but the short version is this: you do one thing every day to work towards your goals. For Seinfeld, it was writing one new joke. The goal needs to be extremely manageable.

    For every day you succeed, you put a gold star on the calendar, the idea being that once you have rows and rows of gold stars, you won't want to break the streak.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I have heard of that! For some reason I remember it as drawing X's on the calendar, and that forms a visual "chain" you don't want to break.

      Delete
  11. By all means, toss it all into the pot and see what happens. Consider it an adventure, and if nothing else, it'll move you forward and might help you decide which "seasonings" you like best. Good luck!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hmm, I like spicy seasonings. Does that mean I should try my hand at writing romance? Erotica? :)

      Delete
  12. I think you're on the edge of a breakthrough. Somewhere in the back of your mind things are brewing. Give it some time and try another outlet. In a few days, maybe a week, something will come and it will blow you away.

    Anna from elements of emaginette

    ReplyDelete
  13. Okay, now my mouth and mind are watering for grilled cheese, books, and the sea. :)
    I think you should definitely throw it in and see what happens.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hee hee! That is kind of a weird combination, isn't it? Someone needs to invent a perfume.... :)

      Delete
  14. I'm in a life funk right now. There's so much negativity in the air it's hard to find the joy in everyday living. Humor is such a great balm - I love Jerry Seinfeld too!

    Sounds like you're going to make Stone Soup - throwing everything in the pot and see what comes out. Whatever it is, I know it will be great! I love your creepy little stories, so the talent will be there for whatever you write.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Laugh, Lee! Watch those old Seinfeld re-reruns or find a new sitcom or a comedian that makes you chuckle. It really helps.

      And thanks so much! I appreciate it. :)

      Delete
  15. I can completely relate. I haven't done any serious writing in years and I'm having a lot of trouble figuring out exactly what the heck I'm doing. It was so easy all those years ago. Maybe we both need to stop thinking about how we don't know what we're making and just make SOMETHING. No one said we have to take it with us to Thanksgiving dinner. :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I LOVE this part - "Maybe we both need to stop thinking about how we don't know what we're making and just make SOMETHING." It's so easy to talk ourselves out of things, isn't it?

      Delete
  16. Maybe you could take a class and experience a different kind of writing...try a new recipe, so to speak?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes! Or read a new-to-me book on the writing craft or even just check out something creative, different in general.

      Delete
  17. I'm definitely a throw-everything-into-the-pot kind of cook. If it's not fun to write, it's not fun to read, right?

    ReplyDelete
  18. I do get into my funks, but it's never an issue for me, as there are around 100 different things I need to do that is related to writing career and if I can't do the main thing, I get to work on something else so I remain productive to my career.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. That's a good suggestion - we can still be productive while in that creative funk.

      Delete
  19. Love your gastronomical references. LOL.
    Frankly, my latest project sounds just as unclear. I don't know what it is: a short story, a novella, a novel. Maybe that's why I keep procrastinating.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I usually say let the project show me what it wants to be, don't force the form or the structure etc, but sometimes I wish it would just tell me already, right from the start. :)

      Delete
  20. Hang in there. Persistence. I have been fighting the funk a while but still moving like an inchworm but moving. Happy IWSG Day.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It doesn't matter how fast we move as long as we keep moving forward! Keep going, Juneta!

      Delete
  21. Yep, keep cooking no matter the result. Change is inevitable and all recipes need tweaking :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'm of the cooking school where measurements, rules, etc are just suggestions. Sometimes the results are delicious. Other times? Good thing we have a garbage disposal.

      Delete
  22. Mmmm. I'll take grilled cheese, please. LOL Sometimes I fell off track too.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The orders for grilled cheese are piling up! Maybe we all need a snack while we figure out what to do next.... :)

      Delete
  23. Hi Madeline, my suggestion would be that you should write yourself out of your writing funk. Just write, keep writing, maybe a short story, a novella or a long synopsis.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I played with writing a few contest entries and micro fiction. Some worked, some didn't. But what else is new, right? :)

      Delete
  24. I love your reflection... and the mish-mash of grilled cheese, new books and the sea.

    Just keep on writing. That's the most important factor. The rest will work itself out.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks, Michelle! Fingers crossed on everything working itself out. :)

      Delete
  25. I know what you mean. I've come a long way away from the writing I started out with. If I had a focus, maybe I could write novels again. I guess that's why I'm focusing on short stories right now.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You do what you need to do to keep those creative juices flowing. :)

      Delete
  26. Seinfeld is a comedy genius. People like that make me either 1) feel encouraged to work harder to get better or 2) they were born with a talent I can never dream of having.

    It depends on my mood and how down I'm feeling about myself.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I so hear that, Elizabeth! I do believe Seinfeld is naturally talented, but from things I've heard/read etc, it sounds like he also works incredibly hard at his craft.

      Delete
  27. I took the summer off to recharge and now that it's time to pick up the pen (or face the keyboard, rather), I am equal parts super excited and absolutely terrified that it will be a major garbage-fest.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Maybe you've got to get the garbage out first before the good stuff shines through? Don't be too hard on yourself! :)

      Delete
  28. Throw everything in the fridge into the soup pot and see what you get! Seriously, though, those times of uncertainty, before the next idea takes hold, are really disconcerting. I have faith you'll be off on something soon, and whether it turns out to be bouillabaisse or clam chowder, I'll bet it will be good.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You're right about that disconcerting feeling. Just ugh.

      Thanks, Rebecca! I appreciate that. :)

      Delete
  29. Yeah, that's a tough one. I've been at the place where nothing sounds good and yet you know you want something. I hope you manage to whip up something delicious to munch on and satisfy that hunger spot!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I've got lots of ingredients/ideas, but putting them together? No clue! :o

      Delete
  30. During this time, it's important to keep your eyes and ears open. When I didn't know what to do next, and was deep in my writer's burnout, something happened that sparked an idea in me and got me writing again. At least as long as it took me to write an 80-page story. Hang in there! Sometimes patience and an open mind is all that's needed. :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I like to think I have an open mind, but patience? Not so much. But I'll keep trying. :)

      Delete