Posted by: sarahswati | May 10, 2011

Decisions, Decisions

I sit here, writing this post, because I couldn’t think of what I wanted to write about that’s transgender-related. (This post won’t be.)

While fishing around for ideas, I started to wonder why I have trouble deciding what to write sometimes. It seems to me I have to get riled up about something in order to be motivated to write about it. I don’t get riled up easily, and when I do, it soon passes, so I seldom feel “passionate” enough about something to write about it. Is this passion necessary for writing either simply for me or for anyone?

I think I really ought to write out my “passions” when I have them, and not save them for later. I had a few ideas about transgender topics last night after writing the previous blog post and I thought “Oh, well. I’ll pick one to write about tomorrow.” I still remember what the ideas are, but the passion to write about them is gone. Only temporarily, I’m sure, but still. In fact, I already have a collection of a couple dozen ideas I’ve come up with since I started my blog, to “write about later”… waiting for the passion to return.

Something similar happens when I write poetry, too. I have another list of ideas for poems. Poetry is confined to the moment, however. It arises from an experience at a certain point in time. With some of my ideas, they’ve been there so long that I now no longer have the faintest idea what the note I jotted down is about. The brief moment the idea had some special meaning for me is gone. Sometimes I can channel feelings similar to those that brought on the idea later and that similarity is “close enough” so that I can write the poem I meant to write earlier. That’s why I have a list for poetry ideas, even though they are inextricably connected to the moment they arose. In the case of poetic ideas, though, once the moment gone, it is never to return, and the same is true for the ability to channel similar feelings later.

This phenomenon of having trouble deciding what to choose isn’t really confined to my writing, actually. I have similar troubles with choosing lots of things… where to go out for dinner, what to do when I’m out with a friend, and so on.

Am I answering my own question with this blog entry? How did I come to write it? Do I have a passion about this subject right now? No, I don’t think so, but maybe I have just enough passion about it to be over the threshold to write about it? Perhaps I have trouble deciding what to choose when I don’t feel especially enthusiastic about one option more than another.

If you have any thoughts on this subject, I’d love to hear them.



  1. I think that it’s not reasonable to expect to be passionate all the time. Writing is a discipline. I think it’s great to be struck with that bolt-of-lightning inspiration, but that’s probably not when you’re actually going to be doing the writing. That’s when you should be outlining, note-taking, and otherwise planning.

    Discipline comes in when you sit down with your cup of tea, your pack of cigarettes (or whatever) and get down to the business of fleshing out that flash of inspiration which, in the cold light of day, probably isn’t as complete as it could be.

    • Yes, I agree that there’s a lot to be said for discipline, which is something I need to work on in my writing.

  2. I would have to say that a discipline writer is a great writer, but a writer that writes when they are inspired is an amazingly gifted writer. Inspiration is hard for me to come by to, sister, and I say that as a transgender individual myself. I have struggled for the past couple of years and it has zapped my inspiration. When I was happy and the pressures of life did not weigh so heavy, Inspiration would hit me almost all day, everyday. I wrote some amazing pieces of poetry during that time. But, since my last piece, written a year ago, I have lived and lived hard. So, when my mind is right and my world is right once again, I know inspiration will come. It always does. Especially if writing is your gift.

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