Wednesday, May 11, 2016

The Harder Days

If you've ever been friends with a writer (or really, any sort of artist ever) you've probably heard them bemoan their life. Well, their artistic life. Commonly you'll hear these phrases:

'My muse has abandoned me!'

'I don't know why I thought I could do this.'

'Everything I write/draw/bake/practice isn't good. It was never good. Why am I fooling myself?'

'Guess I better get a real job, my creativity is gone.'

There is nothing in life more depressing to an artist than...well...life. Real Life has a nasty horrible way of inking into our overly sensitive, fragile, wobbly little artistic souls and popping it with its real-ness. Real things like bills and food and clothes and like...jobs. Stress is a real thing. People have it every day. But for those of an artistic nature, stress piles on us very easily. Things that others can shake off we can't. Or maybe I can't.




One little blow or change in my 'real' life and my artistic life takes a huge fall. My muse abandons me, my voice is gone, my ideas are stale. The words I try to write on Word or even the internet get stuck or warped somewhere between my brain and my fingers before it even makes it out. I feel like a failure. I look at what I've written in the past and think 'how could I have possibly written that?'.

These last couple months have been like that for me. Everything I try to write is horrible to me. I can do better. I should do better. But Real Life has taken over my brain, stopping the flow of creativity and chasing my highly sensitive muse away. It's gotten so bad that when I write I can't even write in the proper tense. Am I writing in past, present or future? Is it 'don't' or 'didn't'? That's how bad it is. And apparently my writing is reflecting my brain, because for some reason when I write I'm using a lot of short sentences. I'm halting in my words. A lot. Like my brain can only take on life and its thoughts in short, five or six bite pieces before needing a break.

Harder Days indeed.

I've had moments like this. Hell, I've had MONTHS like this. But I hate them when they happen. It frustrates me to have them. To have my creativity stifled and my life put in a free-fall of uncertainty. Real Life can be unkind. We either survive it or we don't and spend months and months feeling like inept wizards at  Hogwarts hoping the others don't realize that we can't understand the books and that we lost our owl somewhere.

Advice I've heard other say is "keep writing even when you don't want to."

I think that's terrible advice (at least for me).

When I tried that bit of encouragement what ended up happening was me writing and then becoming more and more frustrated and horrified at my inability to write. The more I wrote the worse it became. But the less I wrote the more I was also convinced I couldn't write. And when I tried to write my horrible writing seemed to confirm the beliefs I had. Just one big circle of doom really. And the thing that's started all this?

Changes.

(My reaction when I see Change coming towards me)

I don't do well with change. Most people don't. But I don't do well with big life changes. Like say, moving. Which seems silly, since I moved house every 3 years until I was 13. And even then, I only lived in that house for 6 years before moving out and spending the next 4 years moving every year. Constant change. And I didn't handle that well either. I spent four years being stressed with little art to show for it. Just stress. I should be used to moving. But because I had to do so much of it over my lifetime I've grown to dislike it very much. Travel, yes. Moving, no.

My life at the moment is in a state when I need to make a lot of very large life changing decisions and my oh-so-sensitive muse has run away at the first hint of stress. The traitor! My writing career is also on a tipping point of becoming something or becoming absolutely nothing. I'm afraid to know which way I'm going to fall. Or fail.

So for now I write this blog post and hope to god that I can weather the changes coming. That my writing will stop sucking. That I'll stop writing in short sentences and will recall which words to use in past and present and future tenses.

And in case you were wondering, I WILL be updating my Blog Serial "How To Survive The Afterlife" this coming Monday! Sorry for the lack of updating. If confused as to why I haven't been updating, read above post again.

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