So I've told you about how Judah actively kept me from writing, and now I've told you how aspects of my relationship with Michael kept me from writing, but those aren't the only things. I have been meaning to write about this for a while. But. Ten-hour chats and four-hour phone calls. Anyway, now I have time.
So rewind. Late summer, early fall. I'm recovering from the Judah stuff, I'm getting Elayna ready for college, I had Readercon then Chicago travel. I was slammed, and holding the adrenaline crash from the Judah stuff at bay pretty much by focusing on Elayna's imminent departure.
Elayna and I are ridiculously close. Wonderfully so. So her leaving was always going to have a huge impact on my daily life. Her leaving was a good thing, because yay college! But I had been developing the whole empty nest syndrome thing like a year in advance. I would randomly weep when she got letters from colleges. And my year-plus of stress and horror started in mid-2012, remember?
So everyone was asking me how I was doing with Elayna's impending departure, and I was saying, honestly, "I don't know what to do with myself with her gone."
And, to a one, they'd say "More time for writing!"
Which made me cringe every time. Because of how extensively Judah had killed that in me. Because I wasn't ready. Because I needed time to regrow that part of me, and I felt like I was being pressured.
Because I have never actually liked writing, which people tend not to believe. I came into my writing career sideways, sorta, doing stuff to raise money for my sick cat, then continuing because, well, here I am disabled and this is something people will pay me for. But for the past few Judah-infused years, I've been getting published pretty much only because people see me mention things on Twitter and ask me to submit them to them. And the only thing I'd written was "Happy Hour at the Tooth and Claw", which I pushed myself through while my grandmother was dying, while Judah was cheating on me, after Jack died horribly.
And here I was in this time of trauma and loss and massive stress, and I was feeling deeply pressured to do something that would cause me more pain, when I was desperately trying to find some way to rest and get better.
I crashed really hard in September. Part of that crash was me being So Completely Done with writing and cracking under all of that pressure. I managed to keep from outright posting publicly that I was retired and to stop poking me, but only barely. It was actively painful to me that I had a story coming out in October. I only barely managed to keep from e-mailing all the magazines that had stuff from me online and asking them to take it all down; I wanted my writing career erased utterly.
It was a very rough fall. Once again, terrible life stuff that I felt I couldn't talk about here or anywhere; I am getting past that now.
It's been a slow, halting process getting back to where I felt I could write. I started with poetry about the Judah shit because I needed to lance that boil. I did some work on fiction writing last week as part of my imposed penance (see last post); not very good, I don't think.
And then Arisia happened, and even though oh my word the con sucked for me this year on a bunch of levels, cons always do get my writerbrain back in gear. I came home reenergized. Then, well, see last post, and I thought "fuck this, I was only doing it for them, no more writing."
And then I had my day of rumination yesterday, and I was like "fuckit."
So I'm going to try to get back to that. Maybe now that I actually have time again for the first time in two-plus years. Maybe because I have a Way In to Places You Haunt. Maybe now I have additional perspective on Cicatrix. Maybe the thing I finished last week is possibly okay.
So I'll be working on that. But do me a favor? Don't ask how it's going, at least not yet. Because it turns out my writerbrain really doesn't like that.