Every time I think I’m about to be able to be open and honest and not give a second thought about … whether what I say is okay to say… Things change. Hopes, washed away. Expectations and realities inconsistent. Realistic and unrealistic expectations alike, unmet and unequaled.
I have supposed to be writing. Last week, this long weekend, writing. But there is pressure, pre-emptive stress, internal conflict, and things have not gone to plan. And things not going to plan -writing and elsewise- diminish my ability to relax, to concentrate, to focus or to create. Poetry, fiction, even the ability to journal have been disenchanted, placed justoutof reach.
I say, I know, if I sit down at a blank page, a typewriter, a text input field of one sort or another, words come. The words are always there, waiting just behind my fingertips, waiting in the folds of my brain, waiting for me to give them a chance to face the world. In the last month I’ve tried writing here, I’ve tried saying something about my life, but without actually forcing myself to sit down in front of an input window I have been able to avoid actually writing anything. If there are other tabs in the browser, information to surf, to search, updated this or that, new sites to discover and explore, more and more and more than I could ever absorb, it’s easy to do that until I pass out, without a word written. If I can avoid bringing up the webpage to write into at all, that’s half a step further away.
Even the window I’m writing into now is a form of procrastination, avoidance, separation from the window behind it, the one I’m supposed to be developing fiction, characters, a family, their lives, their experiences into. A story I’d hoped would be book length seems to be pointing towards being a short story instead, but that doesn’t mean it shouldn’t be written. And writing it is what I am not doing by writing this. You’ve read this before, a hundred times before.
((I’ve been thinking of going through my online journal and collecting my entries into a series of books. Not exhaustive, not every post, but -for example- start with the most intense and emotional posts and/or the posts to and about Sara for a start. Perhaps a collection about writing, all the thousands of words I’ve written about writing, about not writing, about putting off writing, and this. Perhaps. It can be compelling reading, I know, and it is true, true memoir sells, yes?))
So, in brief, I have not been writing because:
I failed to remain celibate, almost immediately, and in an on-going fashion.
I have been quite depressed, avoiding most social contact, turning inward and too deep in it to see much else.
I have been feeling defeatist about my own failure to market/sell my books & art, and know that “blogging” about it is not really going to work on its own.
I am still somewhat involved with Mandy, but we … we don’t really know what it is, or where it’s going, or what, so it’s hard to talk about. (I am at her flat right now, for example.)
I have been having difficulty focusing, concentrating, and more – I have been so scatterbrained that I haven’t written much until this break, nor worked on art nor much of anything else in months and months and months.
I always say I’ll keep trying, right? So I’m saying it again: I’m going to try to write more. Here, and for my new stories and books. I’m going to try to work on art again. My brain wants to do something with tens of thousands of tiny, unique stickers, applied either to something vast and/or something sculptural, inspired by the stickers I’ve recently ordered from moo.com. I’m going to try to not give up on whatever is going on with Mandy as we move into her new school & new school year and into my trying to be productive again and not going too much more mad.
I have been very reluctant and dismissive for years of the suggestions and assistance which has been offered to me with re: marketing my art and my books. Please do not let me be. Force me to try. Make me go talk to Bookman’s, to Changing Hands, to go around to the independent book sellers in town and see if they will carry a local author’s books. Suggest publications to read, publications to submit my short fiction to, workshops, meetings, whatever, and if I dismiss them, put them in my hands. Put it in front of my face. Help me learn to … to have faith in myself. Because the real problem is that I don’t believe I’m good enough. The problem is that I worry that I’ll walk into Bookman’s and talk to them about putting my books in the Local Authors section and they’ll laugh at me or dismiss me or worse. The problem is that I’ve been so effectively discouraged by other people’s horror stories about rejection after rejection that I’ve never even tried – I’ve not sent a single short story or poem, let alone a novel, to a publisher, not ever. If the most brilliant writers were rejected hundreds of times, for years and decades and sometimes until after their deaths, what chance have I got? That’s my thinking, and I don’t know how to break out of it any time soon without your help.
Alright, I’m going to go try to write some more of this bizarre vampire story. Later, I’ll be at the Art Walk. Tomorrow, I’ll be in Pine, doing hard work, and then it’s another work week. Gotta keep going.