February 01, 2010

Why I don't write -- Kimberley Payne

Sometimes I fight writing. I know I have a great idea and I’ve even started it inside my mind, but I put the brakes on. I don’t want to transfer it to paper because I’m afraid that if I start and then am interrupted by the telephone, or by a child’s cry, or by the dryer’s buzzer I fear that I may lose it altogether.

Instead of starting, I keep it inside to protect and nurture it until the timing is right to let it loose. But have I lost ideas entirely because of this? I don’t know. I can’t remember. Perhaps blissfully I lose ideas but is this better than knowingly losing ideas?

I’ve never chanced starting to write knowing that I had only 30 minutes to get my idea down. I’ve never risked it. I’m too afraid that if I let the idea loose without completing it, well then, I’d lose it forever.

I don’t know if I could pick up where I had left off. I don’t know if I could get myself back into that frame of mind.

I feel like I move in spurts. There is a period of incubation and formulation. The thought is tossed and turned and moulded in my mind. Then the moment comes where the idea bursts forward and splatters in ink on my paper. I cannot stop it and it runs like a locomotive fiercely out of my mind onto the page.

But as the ink dries, the idea dies out. The writer is spent. And once spent, I return to incubation.

Do I unleash the train before it’s ready? Do I dare ever proceed or yank the brake cord just as the train gathers speed?

This is my dilemma as a writer. Do I take my opportunities as they come up, or wait for the ideal moment? Do I write regardless or steal those moments to luxuriate in reading?

As I pose these questions to myself, I already know the answer. A writer writes.

No more excuses. No hiding behind reading. A writer writes when the ideas are there. And when the ideas are not there. A writer writes through the incubation and into the inspiration. A writer writes.


  1. I can relate to what you are saying. Sometimes when I get a wonderful idea while I'm too busy to work with it, I write down just a few words so I can deal with it later. Sometimes this works, but sometimes the note paper doesn't deliver what I first conceived. I look at my chicken scratchings and wonder what I was thinking.

  2. Kimberley, It's interesting that you find it hard to let go of the nugget of your new idea until you have time to write it more fully.

    For me... I have no problem jotting down the seed in the form it comes to me... my journals and notebooks are full of seeds (I feel a little like Joseph with all his granaries full of wheat).....

    But what I have trouble with is finding the time, rather, making the time, to take the seed thought and actually creating a finished product, something that someone else can understand and benefit from.

    I have felt His Nudges on several occasions to actually takes those ideas as they come each day and not stock pile them for later. To think of them as fresh manna to be distributed for today's needs.

    Which also reminded me of what happened to the fresh manna when the Israelites tried to keep some over -- it got old and wormy.

    We all know some things need incubating, but there are lots of bean seeds that can sprout in a day that have nutrition value too.

    Mmmm.... I realize I still haven't been doing much with my 'daily manna seeds'; I best start being a doer and not a hearer only.

    Anyways.... I enjoyed your posting. I don't feel so isolated now, even if our dilemmas are different.

    Happy writing! Brenda L.

  3. My problem is that I allow the thoughts to germinate on paper and then when they grow long and weedy I give up on them because they are such a mess of tangled thoughts. Perseverence is what I need.

    But like Brenda said, thank you for sharing this because it shows we are not alone in our writing dilemnas!

  4. Great Post Kimberly. I have the 'granary' problem. Lots of little ideas stock piled for 'when I have time.' I also know that when I get an idea, if I don't write it down immediately, it is gone!
    I am thinking, "Pray without ceasing. Write without stopping" might be a good mantra for me. Good motivating thoughts, Kimberly!

  5. Oh, it is so comforting to know that we are not alone in our writing dilemnas!


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