This blog has been pretty dormant for the past few … months?
Yeah, sorry about that. But I’ve gotta be honest about something: I haven’t been writing. I’ve got some non-fiction and ghostwriting stuff going on, but as far as fiction? Fuhgeddaboudit. Nothing. Nada. Zip. Zilch. Zero. Nil.
I’ve tried returning to some previous work to try to jump-start the writing, and nothing is working. I’m not sure why. My friend, Cassandra Rose Clarke, has published her first novel (with at least two more coming out). It’s terrific, by the way. And I’m reading tons of Sue Grafton and Elmore Leonard. My other friend, TL Costa, has a novel coming out this year. The amazing Jennifer Echols continues to write and publish incredible work. My friends Kait Nolan and MB Mulhall continue to carve out a niche for themselves in the self-pubbed world. Anne-Mhairi Simpson continues to write and publish with more and more success.
In other words, life moves on apace.
I, however, am not writing. Or publishing. Not the stuff that matters. The fiction is the thing, and the lack of driving force in my fiction-writing is driving me a little bit crazy.
Okay, a little crazier. Happy now?
Frankly, I want to quit. I want to put my head down on my desk and scream and pound my fists and cry. I want to quit.
No, seriously. I know this is a whiny writing post. But, folks, there’s just no forward momentum in the fiction world for me. Sucks. But that’s the way it is. I don’t begrudge any of those writers I named. They’ve earned their success, and I’m proud to know them.
But damn it, I want that success, too.
I’ve lost … something. I don’t know what it is, and I don’t know how to get it back. There used to be a–I don’t know–a pure kind of pleasure in seeing the words move across the screen. I knew, even if I was getting rejected, that it was just a matter of time (and maybe a little luck). I felt inevitable.
I don’t feel that way anymore. I feel the sense of time and mortality crashing down on me. I’m 41 years old. Every day I don’t write is a day wasted. And I don’t really mind those wasted days all that much anymore. Those days have begun washing over me like a relentless tide that takes more and more of my willpower out to sea. That’s what REALLY troubles me. I have no urge to get to the keyboard. I have no unrelenting need to tell the multitude of stories that swirl around in my head.
That’s the trouble. I’ve lost something precious to me. I have to figure out a way to get it back. Or I have to come to terms with losing it. Right now I’m stuck in the middle. I’m not writing, and I’m at peace with that. That’s the part that makes me angriest. I’ve always been fairly optimistic. I knew I had potential. I knew I had talent. I knew I was good. At what point did it become okay for me to give up?
Where was the turning point?
I need to find that place again, find my confidence again. I want and need to get back to that place where writing was like breathing for me. It wasn’t an option. It was simply what I did. I know I was good. Over the last several years, I’ve taken some blows and some shots to the ego. I’ve gotten worn down like the nub of a pencil.
Can I rebuild? Can I get “it” back? Or am I so worn down, so tired, that I can’t come back? I just don’t know at this point.