i used to be a writer. from the time i was sixteen years old until the past year or so, i religiously wrote in a journal, finishing one journal every three to four months! i used to blog semi-regularly. i used to write poetry. i wrote a 250 page dissertation. now, however, i have to scrape the corners of my mind for something to write (or, something to declare, as julia alvarez has eloquently written).
it wears on me, not because i'd like to consider myself a "writer," but because my job requires that i write. "publish or perish" is a common adage in academia. if i can't manage to blog or write in a journal, how am i to produce a well-conceived, well-written academic article?
the other day one of my girlfriends from texas sent me an article that she'd written about a tejana activist who helped organize a protest for educational rights for mexican americans in the early 1970s. i started to read it, and i could sense the passion that my friend had for this woman's story. and i remembered that i used to have that, too.
i used to know a guy in mexico who would tell me that he wrote "cuando le llegaba la musa." i always thought it romantic to be waiting for a "muse" to inspire a person to write. as i got more serious about my writing, however, i realized that it was as much about discipline as it was inspiration. these days it's difficult for me to conjure either one or the other.
right now i'm supposed to be revising an article about mexican american women in farm labor during the 1950s and 1960s. i've been putting off this revision for a LONG time. i don't know if it's a lack of passion or inspiration. maybe it's a good old fashioned fear of writing.
i think that i'm looking a place to begin. maybe blogging a little more can be a place to start.