Friday, September 30, 2011

What it's like in month nine

Even when I know a problem is only in my head, it's not necessarily easier to deal with. This has been a week of self-doubt, weird dreams, and poor eating habits, which all add up to a sleepy me, engaged in half-assed self-reflection as I will the coffee to brew faster.

So here's the deal: If I bring up a problem I try to bring up a solution. So let's talk about how I can make life better for my noggin.

  • Spend the weekend integrating the cats. For the past week we've kept them mostly apart and one of us has been sleeping on the couch to keep Chiana company. Couch dreams are fickle dreams.
  • Drink coffee. Or sleep. Then shut the hell up about being tired. Everybody is tired.
  • Exercise. Go outside or to the gym. Move you lazy creature!
  • Recognize what I do and do not have control over. (This has always been my biggest challenge.) Quit worrying about the stuff you can't change. There's no profit in it.
  • Handle that paperwork I've been avoiding. You know the paperwork.
  • Stop switching between first and second person. It's creepy.
  • You're creepy.
  • Callate la boca.

This is such a strange job I've signed up for, and I've never done anything like it. You work for long stretches in a cocoon of silence alone with your thoughts, making stuff up, and nobody pays you anything most of the time or pats you on the head and says, good work. All the motivation has to be internal, all the resources for fighting off the sad times and the constant stream of judgment dribbling in through the email inbox and the mailbox, hoping for the best.

Geez. Does it sound like I'm complaining again? I'm not. Not really. I love having this opportunity. I've been very fortunate -- I've met really fantastic and interesting people. I've had three flash fiction pieces accepted in a short time. I have a wonderful husband and family who are all very supportive. This is the best possible world.

And I still have so much to learn about writing. There are no shortcuts. I feel like there's this heavy boulder crashing down a hill and what I'm doing right now is stopping that boulder and turning it around. Every day I make a little more progress.

Sisyphus metaphors make the boring reality of typing all day seem much more dramatic.

The only cure is to write more. Or learn more. Or both.

So you and me computer. Let's dance.


Anonymous said...

I've been having the same kind of week, actually, made worse by another boulder coming down yesterday in the form of a rejection. But we only have two choices--chin up marching on, or defeat. And defeat is not an option. :)

Folly Blaine said...

"And defeat is not an option." Too true, exploringeliza. Too true. :)

I forgot to mention that writing and learning are great and all, but what if the only cure is more cowbell? (

Think about it.

Mark Andrew Edwards said...

Nothing has come upon you, except what is common to...writers.

I think every single one of us things we're no good at some part of the week.

Keep at it. You're a good writer. People are willing to pay for your work, which is proof.

We never stop learning unless we choose to.

Luna Lindsey said...

I agree.

This "me too" post has been brought to you by me, too.

Folly Blaine said...

Mark: Yeah, I know what I'm feeling is nothing new, not for me or any other writer. It's just been one of those weeks. I know I'll also feel better when I stop reloading FB, Twitter and Google+ every 30 seconds and produce more content. By the way, thanks for the "good writer" compliment.

Luna: :)

E.M. Jeanmougin said...

I'm pretty sure that being a writer is very nearly like being bi-polar. I got through periods of "Oh, this seems like its going very well. I'm in a GREAT mood" to "I don't think I'm good enough. I should just give up" to "COMPLETE AND UTTER DESPAIR" sometimes within the course of a few hours. :/

Just remember that it is all a learning process. You are very talented and I love reading your stuff.

So this is me, patting you on the head and saying "good job". :3 Just sayin'

Folly Blaine said...

Aw, thanks E.M. Right back at ya. :)

The bipolar comparison is a good one. It does help me to remember you can't have the high highs without the low lows.