Uh, hello. Remember me?
I’ve been missing for a while, so I thought I would post something before Sylvester Stallone or Chuck Norris came looking for me. I’ve been busy, just not especially writing-busy. I have been writing, but most of that is work I didn’t feel like sharing here. Some of it is too personal. Some of it is too political. While that has its place, maybe eventually another blog, I don’t want to bring that kind of often divisive monologue to this one. (Actually, the thought of another political anything right now makes me a little nauseous.) I’ve even written some truly awful poetry that nobody deserves to experience. I will likely burn it in one of my apartment complex’s BBQ grills, dump the ashes into a coffee can, bury said can, and entomb it in a concrete-lined hole to prevent it from contaminating anything. Its end will be more poetic than the poetry itself.
I’ve come to question the nature of time and my perceptions of that dimension as possible through our human constructs and celestial bodies. How can I create more time? Could I get more from people who don’t appear to be using theirs? Could I barter for it with toilet paper or hand sanitizer? What does time taste like? (Probably chicken. I like chicken.)
Time continues to disappear each day before I commit to writing. This blog entry was written in fits and starts over an entire week and was started days after I intended. With the arrival of Spring, the outdoors beckons, and I can eliminate cold temperatures as an excuse for my lethargy. I’m determined to make up for that hour of sleep I lost. Walking in the evening gives me ample time to think about writing, but often it doesn’t add to my daily word count. Until a device is invented and affordable enough to allow my thoughts to be transcribed, this will likely continue.
There are quite a number of things related to writing that consume inordinate amounts of time and don’t give me the same amount of pleasure. They often feel like the kind of work and stress writing has always helped me escape. Where writing frequently recharges my introvert energy reserves, some of the necessities common to a professional writer’s success quite dramatically oppose this. Creating a plot outline feels like building a sandcastle. Hunting for publications accepting the kind of stories I’ve written feels like negotiating the downtown streets of a strange and hostile city at rush hour. Developing a character’s backstory feels like sharing dinner with a friend. Promoting my writing on social media provides all the thrills of working on my resume. You get the idea.
When I’ve accomplished some writing, I’ve been chasing those energizing experiences that I always enjoyed when it was simply my hobby. My writing is better now, but I don’t write as much or as often as when I sought solace in it. In some respects, there’s no going back to that time before I got a couple of stories published. Part of my brain keeps saying: “See?!? People want to read your writing. People will pay to read your writing!” This pushes me to stretch for something great. I consciously attempt to write more concisely, choose more descriptive language, integrate sensory elements, show instead of tell. Instead I should probably enjoy the heedless, creative leaps in my first drafts and apply what I’ve learned to my editing.
When I haven’t been writing, I’ve spent an enormous amount of time thoroughly enjoying myself. It’s been a very therapeutic period of time, but also one heavy in carbs. That latter part needs to change before I have to buy new pants. I have read some amazing books, watched some inspiring TV storytelling, and been enchanted by atmospheric, creepy video games. All of these should provide some blogging fodder, so stay tuned.
And if there is sufficient interest expressed in the comments below, I might be persuaded to share the previously mentioned poetry before I seal it away for the good of humanity.