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Scheherazade in Blue Jeans
freelance alchemist
Me and Writing 
22nd-Jan-2014 10:14 am
Typewriter - tell me about it
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.

We'll see.

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.
Comments 
(Deleted comment)
22nd-Jan-2014 04:04 pm (UTC)
Read this as well.
(Deleted comment)
22nd-Jan-2014 06:01 pm (UTC)
Read and understood, and I applaud your ability to recognize and ask for what you need. That's not so easy.
22nd-Jan-2014 06:11 pm (UTC)
- 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

Please don't ever do this. You are an excellent writer, and not just of fiction and poetry. You are also a great public speaker and reader.
22nd-Jan-2014 08:01 pm (UTC)
This; I really want to go to a reading of yours someday.
22nd-Jan-2014 07:52 pm (UTC)
I would like to know how the con sucked for you. I heard about an incident with your dog, but feel free to email me with details (feedback@arisia, or through LJ).
22nd-Jan-2014 07:57 pm (UTC)
Hi Lisa! Nothing that sucked was the fault of the con; it was external stress, exhaustion, and working hard through several bad pain days in a row.
22nd-Jan-2014 08:11 pm (UTC)
Apparently I have a lot of reactions to parts of this post. At first I was surprised to read that you don't enjoy writing, but from what I know of your process,after thinking a bit, it doesn't seem like much fun; it seems to involve pouring yourself out on the screen and going over the painful parts with a fine toothed comb. That said, I really hope you don't ever completely stop doing it. I LOVE reading what you write! THAT being said, please be as healthy as possible with it.
22nd-Jan-2014 09:00 pm (UTC)
This.

Writing should be therapeutic for you, not a mental/emotional self-harm process. ♥
22nd-Jan-2014 11:28 pm (UTC)
What moonfire77 said.

Your writing is beautiful and moving, but its manifestation should be healthy and healing.

And after reading this I can sympathize in some small way, because I feel this way often about my work writing. I love writing non-fictional stuff about nature, and I do it for a living, but when I am pushed by supervisors to write when my writerbrain is not in the mood, or when there is too much writing to do in too little time, it can be rather awful and downright exhausting.

So I'll amend my wish for you that I wrote in my comment on your previous entry: I hope this new-found time you have gives you breathing room to take care of yourself, and be, and heal. And let the written word flow in a positive, healing manner, and only if you wish it to.

Edited at 2014-01-22 11:30 pm (UTC)
(Deleted comment)
22nd-Jan-2014 09:30 pm (UTC)
I think it would be a shame if you stopped writing; you do it so well and seem to have so much to say. But, you know, I support you in whatever you do. If you decide you don't want to write, or want to write but don't want to be published, or whatever. I'm here.
22nd-Jan-2014 09:36 pm (UTC)
Read this and the one before. Still amazed by you, and how you manage to keep going.

Thank you for telling us.

Out of curiosity, is there another creative outlet that you do like, that persons with money could support you doing?

Also, on the "it's totally your choice to do this, but I will be very sad" end, I like that you have a history as a published writer, and the stories you wrote are important, and I don't want them to disappear.
22nd-Jan-2014 10:02 pm (UTC) - Sorry to hear that your con sucked
*offers hugs*
23rd-Jan-2014 05:13 am (UTC)
o.O I did not mean to pressure. I just remembered interruptions to writing time being a thing of much frustration, so I thought I was pointing out a bright side. I'm sorry that I misunderstood and poked the wrong thing.
23rd-Jan-2014 05:52 am (UTC)
Thank you for posting this. My aunt died in October and I've been having a great deal of trouble getting focused to write. Your words help me to remember that loss and change can be exhausting, especially for people with chronic illness, which helps me to be kind to myself though my progress toward my goals is stalled, for the moment. I will note that this is true even though I enjoy writing, for the most part. Writing takes resources, as does grief and pain and illness and adapting to change. Sometimes you just run out.
23rd-Jan-2014 01:48 pm (UTC)
*blink*

I just read this and the prior bit.

I really don't have words. Just Hope.
23rd-Jan-2014 03:28 pm (UTC)
I still remember the late-night conversation you and I had at Pi-Con 2008, and the fears you had then about writing becoming something you had to do for a parlour trick, rather than as stories you needed to tell and to take joy in releasing into the wild after they'd lived in you for so many years.

Back then you were in the midst of Wind Tunnel Dreams - writing on command - and had had to put the SHAYARA webcomic on hold after Mousegrrl's withdrawal from the project.

I hope I haven't poked you too much over the years since then, and I promise not to poke now.

As always, I will simply sit and listen.

Edited at 2014-01-23 03:29 pm (UTC)
26th-Jan-2014 02:58 pm (UTC)
I'm not writing anymore either, although not for reasons like yours. I completely support your decision to do what is right for you at the moment.
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