It's not too late to leave feedback, so if you meant to but never got around to it, jump right in!
Thanks also for your astounding responses to Tuesday's PILE OF WEARY. It's hard to express how safe and supportive it feels to be able to be so very transparent here (despite the anonymity) and receive, not censure or disappointment, but heartfelt support and words of wisdom.
Anyway. This was my day yesterday:
I spread out my snipped-and-taped scenes on the bedroom floor and dug in. (I actually moved my day around a little bit so that I could do this.) You know how, when you've got your soundtrack blasting and you're super-focused, you transport yourself to your story world? (Yeah, you know what I mean. Don't pretend this never happens to you!) So, that. The gelato was a bonus (there is no gelato in my heroine's world, poor thing).
And I WAS PRODUCTIVE! Things that needed to be done got done. Things that I'm embarrassed WEREN'T done while I was muscling through this draft. (Like, yanno, fully developing my antagonists. And finishing a character thread instead of dropping him like a rotten potato.) In fact, when it came time to get ready for ballet class, I didn't want to go. Seriously, this doesn't happen. You all know how much I love my ballet classes.
Yes, I went. Funny how WELL the class went for me. I'm certain that had something to do with the fact that my creative energy was WAY UP by the time I sauntered to the barre. We really do need to feed the creative beasties inside us!
Anyway. Thank you all for allowing me to BE MYSELF. To tell it like it is. And then to allow me the pleasure of seeing my own struggles HELP YOU IN YOURS. Awesome stuff.
In closing, here is Petre Pan's comment from the PILE OF WEARY post. It's so beautiful and well thought-out that I wanted to make sure a lot more of you saw it:
Oh man. It almost makes me cry to read this. Take that back, I held back some tears.
It is a wild and sad and beautiful journey, and so tiring, no?
You said once somewhere on this blog that you refuse to make writing be who you are. Like it's not allowed to be a controlling factor in your life. You control it. And reading this post, it's like you're fighting to say it's not necessary, not a need, not right that it makes you irritated to skip it, even. To find where it fits and why it makes you feel like this. Like you're afraid of being addicted to it?
But what if writing is what you are? What if birds sing, not so anyone can hear them, but because they have to sing and that is what they do and that is what they're meant to do and that is what they are, little songs wrapped up in feathers and wings?
Male parakeets in love--the little guys mate for life--will often wait to sing their prettiest songs until their mate is away, or asleep, and they are alone. It's funny because we associate birdsongs with a purpose. But the song is the purpose.
Someone told me the other day, about the Puerto Rican rainforest near where I live, "isn't it funny to think about all those animal sounds--the pretty singing frogs and the birds and everything--it's all just about sex? They're all just doing it to breed?" And my reply was, "how do you know they're not just breeding to make sure those sounds carry on?"
Maybe writing isn't a career choice. Maybe it's not something you start or quit or do professionally or unprofessionally or use to express your creative outlet like ballet or any of that. Maybe it's your birdsong.
I don't know if that means anything to you. Something weird happened to me a few weeks ago. I was wrestling some tangled-woods revisions with no idea what direction to take, and at the same time very kind SFWA pro was wrangling me through what was essentially brain bootcamp and mental revision to redefine my entire writing process forever, and at some point in the middle of one long night something clicked, or broke, or something. I suddenly let go? I stopped fighting something. I no longer care if there's balance in my life. I don't mind if writing ends up taking over. I don't mind if I don't sleep, or if it becomes who I am, and I also don't care if I get published or not. I'm going to make something beautiful. It's going to be so beautiful and perfect, well-revised and honed and tight and gorgeous, and then I'm going to read it and put it away and do it again. And again. And that's going to be the rest of my life forever. A happy Sisyphus who loves the stone.
Outside, I think nothing's changed. I'm still working on the same professional goals, with publishing in my future and med school on the side. I haven't suddenly devolved into a furry space-ape clinging to the ceiling and bleeding runes onto the tile floor screaming "art art I'm making art stop judging me." But inside I feel better. This is my birdsong. I do it because that is what little birds do when they are alone and in love. That is where it fits in. Maybe I've snapped and gone crazy. But it sure is nice.
I dunno that's a lot of blablabla. I thought I'd share because some of the things you've said about your journey have resonated with some of that in tiny ways. I hope you feel better soon, and whatever you decide to do--whether you keep writing, or put it away, or put it in a boxed part of your life, or decide to suddenly start putting paint on your ballerina shoes and writing stories across the wooden floor in cursive as avant-garde flash fiction--whatever you do, here, here is a hug for you.
>!< (It is there between the little paws, under the exclamation point. I am bad at writing internet hugs.)
'Nuff said. Happy weekend, my lovelies!