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  • Paulla Hunter

Ennui


I am a lover of words. That is always helpful if you want to write. The problem is, that when you are a writer there are a lot of other things you need to do.

First of all, you MUST read and not just the stuff that you write, but stuff other writers write, published or "in process".

Some of the "in process" pieces require notes or reactions. Some of the pieces are your "in process" and need to be edited or tweaked.

Then you must do things that improve your "value added" like going to conferences. Subscribing and actually reading newsletters that keep you informed on the changes in publishing (and WOW there are a ton).

Also networking with other authors is important. We all have different career goals and can inform and educate each other. It is vital!

I do not mean to imply that I begrudge any of these activities. I don't. They are all blazingly important, but they are not writing.

Lately, I have tried to find a word that described my "meh" attitude and I landed on ennui. It is defined as a feeling of listlessness and dissatisfaction arising from a lack of occupation or excitement.

My husband was watching a program called In Depth. I had never heard of it before, but this evening they were having a three-hour interview with David Baldacci covering his writing life and some of his many books.

The audience was allowed to call in and ask questions. He was gracious and informative. One listener called in and asked how he kept his marriage alive since he spent so much time writing. He laughed and said at first he worked at home and his wife made him lock up all his books on forensic investigation and weapon systems so his kids wouldn't be traumatized. Later, when he had his own office space, he discovered his wife liked him best when he was writing. He said he was excited about the project and it seeped into his attitude around the house.

He said it was only when he wasn't writing that he got cranky. For me, that statement lit the little cartoon lightbulb above my head!

I was doing a basket of things I needed to do as a writer, because it is a business and I want to have the right tools, but I wasn't writing.

I have been like the mechanic who spends all his time tinkering on cars, but never gets to take them on the highway and blow the carbon out of the pipes.

I have decided that I will challenge myself to write more to feed my soul and keep my ennui at bay.


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