Hello and welcome to another sporadic, possibly over-sharing, edition of Just Another Struggling Writer. I’m just another struggling writer.
Where to start. How about with a general question/wonderment.
Wow, what the fuck 2020?
It’s no secret that I can’t write when I’m depressed. I’ve tried and I can’t. So, as you might imagine, this year has been more a less a vacuous wasteland for me. Between working in-office through the pandemic (I’ve never been less enthused to be considered “essential”), tryna home school my kids while working full time (fucking pay teachers ALL the money), losing a beloved family member without being able to travel to see them before their passing (thanks COVID), and just the general shittiness of the times we are living through, it shouldn’t be a surprise that my creativity went to the grocery store for milk and never came back.
(Which is not to say I haven’t been writing at all. In May I started journaling to help cope with *waves hands frantically* all of this, and I have been tenderly nurturing the seeds of an epic, EPIC fantasy idea I had a while ago. But the second draft of my former WIP… It’s dead. I realized mid-way through that the middle part of the story needed MAJOR revisions and, well, I decided that in this moment, in this year of everything being on fire, I wasn’t equal to it. Which is a shame, because I think it really does have potential, and maybe one day I’ll fish it out of the trunk and actually put in the labor to make it readable, but… not today. Not right now.)
Which leaves me adrift. No word count goal to strive for, no concrete project to feverishly outline (again and again and again). Just some vague nuggets to develop as the moon of my creativity waxes and wanes. It’s in moments like these that I wonder if I even count as a writer anymore. Hell, it’s taken me the better part of a day to write these some 350 words of this blog (so far). Why should I be allowed to call myself a writer when I’m not writing anything?
On and off since March or so I’ve told myself that I can’t force my creative well to refill itself when I’m depressed (and that’s true), therefore I’m better off waiting for my brain chemistry to sort itself out and then blitzing on projects while I have the chance. But… with the world in such a state as it is, it’s getting harder and harder to not be depressed. With each passing day, missing my mom who I can’t visit because she’s immunocompromised and my kids are in daycare (hot beds of germs at the best of times), or wishing my partner and I could do something normal like have a date night outside of the house, or crying because I can’t give my soon-to-be-8 year old daughter big birthday party, I feel my goal of being a professional writer slipping farther and farther away.
Some days, I’m so worn down from it all, that… I’m okay with that.
And those are the times that suck the most, because I don’t want to be okay with that. I don’t want to be someone who gives up on my dream.
So, to avoid that dark future where there is no writing but plenty of antipathy, I have to make a change. I can’t just sit around anymore waiting for the good ole muse to saunter her temperamental ass home. If the ideas aren’t flaring up on their own, then I need to be the one to stoke the fire.
All of that to say, you might be hearing a lot more from me coming up. I have some ideas on how to keep myself engaged with the writing community and my own creative impulses even when times are tough or I don’t have an actual project to be working on. I want to do more book reviews, writing prompts, or even flash fiction. I want to grow not just as a writer, but as a, dare I say it, content creator.
I might fail. I have many times in the past. This blog is proof positive enough that I struggle with habit forming and my writing goals are the first on the altar when times get tough. But that’s the other thing about me, ever am I willing to try.
So that’s all from me this week. Next week I hope to be back with an update on some changes and additions I’d like to make to the blog. I hope you’ll tune in. Until then, may your writing be plenty and your struggles be few.