Happy 2014. I’m happy here blogging after a long absence.
I did it to myself. I gave myself little to no time to write, post, or read over the past six months. Why eliminate my passion, what I enjoy most in life? What about Pound Cake? Will my next book ever get written? Sadly, where I once used research and reading and writing and staying in tune with all of my blog buddies for relaxation, I recently discovered the addictive false high of Candy Crush, Bingo Blitz and reality TV, and have indulged at every and any idle moment.
Writing is not like exactly like riding a bike. You never forget how to use language, but the less you read, write, participate in discussions, the more you have to ramp up to get back in the groove. As you can see, I’m trying to ramp up now. I proclaimed creative progress as my goal all week; and now, on Friday, I struggle to run my wobbly bald tires up the wooden plank to take a high jump. Before it’s too late.
I often work too hard to create the right state of mind to move forward, even to do something to improve my life. Especially if it’s for the better, because those actions hold the highest risk of failure. Creation of this mental state for me lately often involves a good deal of mindlessness. But tuning out has done nothing to get me where I need to go.
Decompression is important, and mental preparation helps facilitate the thought process; but I often take it too far and blend it masterfully with procrastination. Certainly the old expression ‘Shit or get off the pot’ means that I’m not alone. When I look for that sign from above, that cloud burst that announces the winning choice – disappointment surely follows. Only my action verus stagnation reveals the answers. Yes, it can take longer than I can tolerate. But when I make the effort, maybe there is no booming voice in the sky, but I often, without trying, experience a subtle sense of clarity, a small change, a feeling of relief when I wake up in the morning. But to arrive I have to get off the pot. It’s no one’s responsibility to shout out the correct answer or lead me by the hand, which I often find a bit disappointing sometimes.
I fully understand my struggle. I want my next book to be funny and wise and powerful and true. Even in fiction, every story holds truth. It’s much easier to write about my family, about my mother’s recollections, painful as some were, and about our relationship, than to write about the place that exists in my heart, and in the hearts of so many people I have come to know who struggle with self-loathing, not belonging, being different, and who often drive to extremes in the name of acceptance. Feelings that can often present themselves early in life, or when our bodies transform from child to adult. That in-between phase that bursts at the seams with energy and confusion and the disintegration of childhood ideals. That’s what drives me to write a middle grade book.
Even in writing these words, I feel like I’m on my way. But as I reflect I must ask myself if I can do this without having conquered it myself. Perhaps this journey will do just that. Pain, reflection, and admitting the truth are in store. I’ll never be fully ready to face the demons, so I might as well jump in and see what happens. I am sure some answers will present themselves, and “You are not meant to write a book” could be one of them.
I encourage myself and others to jump in and start moving, create the momentum you need and the answers will come. I crave encouragement too, even when I’m procrastinating or trying to get into the right mind-set. Feel free to oblige me.
Best Wishes for the New Year and Always …