Sometimes, my creative anxiety just bubbles up out of nowhere, and the constriction in my soul overflows from my eyes and heart.
I don’t know where these days come from. Just when I think I’m getting over the tension of not writing, just when I think I feel a little more balanced or in control of my emotions and creative anxiety, something triggers this . . . overflow. I don’t know how else to describe it. Perhaps it goes back to the grieving process, which is something I do think I went through when I unpublished everything and went dark in late 2012. It’s been off and on for some time.
I don’t mean to minimize the grief of losing a loved one, but there is a sense of loss when one gives up something as significant as a career. And it does come in waves, usually catching me unawares.
I haven’t figured out what triggered it this time, but I can tell you that:
1) I’m exhausted, and exhaustion always seems to trigger strong emotion.
2) I’m overwhelmed by my responsibilities for American Heritage Girls, and part of me longs to just lose myself in an imaginary world and forget about all of that.
3) I’m reading Stephen King. All of King’s self-deprecation aside, the man is flipping brilliant. One does not read King for the poetry of his writing, although he does have some pretty good turns of phrase. One reads King because he takes the reader on a ride of breathless, agonizing, fierce, page-turning excitement, intricately plotted and brilliantly executed. Reading Stephen King is humbling.
4) I have a strong sense right now that my chance to really make a go of this whole writing thing has passed. I’m in my mid-40s. By the time my kids are gone, I’ll be in my mid-50s. Can grandchildren be far behind that? I don’t see myself with many opportunities to indulge in the pursuit of a writing career. Some say the career side shouldn’t matter, but . . .
5) . . . I struggle with the idea of creating just for myself. If I never share it, if I never pursue a career as a writer, then it seems rather pointless to create anything.
And as these recent emotions were bubbling to the surface, I found myself in two places yesterday: Pinterest and Twitter. On Pinterest, I kept running across words of encouragement for writers, and I found myself with two knee-jerk responses to said encouragement: snark or tears. So I closed Pinterest (not an easy thing, mind) and went to Twitter, and there I found an author I admire who seemed to not mind answering a few of my questions. Which, because of the nature of Twitter, led to other conversations with OTHER writers and artists, and . . .
Now I find myself stuck in a spiral of fruitless creative frustration.
I tend to end up in this kind of spiral, where emotion feeds on emotion and devours my peace and courage and balance. In these kinds of moments, all I know how to do right now is withdraw, compose myself, and return when I feel a little more . . . centered.
So while I know it’s been some time since I posted, and while I doubt that anyone has been waiting with bated breath for words of wisdom from me, I just want to say that I’m taking some time to compose myself. I’ll be back when I feel a little more balanced. That may be tomorrow (when I finish Wizard and Glass), three days from now, or three months from now. I just can’t say.
In the interim, I wish you peace and prosperity in the new year.
Till next we meet . . .