I Should Be Writing
I really should be. There’s a handful of stories I could be working on, one that’s gone something like fourteen years without me even looking at it, and each of them has the potential to be a full on a novel or series if I felt so inclined. But here I am, avoiding my stories like a negligent father.
It’s odd because I do feel the need and desire to create. I’ve got plenty of notebooks lying around with scribbled down ideas, themes, insights, and names criss-crossing the pages. My Keep app has got a dozen different lists of projects and references. At any given moment I’m liable to be thinking about some piece of fiction or another. But here I am, avoiding my stories like they’re the bathroom an ex coworker used after their unfortunate run in with gas station sushi.
It’s frustrating because I went through a lot to set myself up in what I thought was the ideal environment for creativity. I leap- frogged from job to job and finally landed in a place that doesn’t seem to have any intention of taking advantage of me or my willingness to lend a helping hand. I work part time in a low stress position that lets me keep my head down and actively rewards me for doing my job well. All of my evenings are free and open for me to use to polish narratives, subvert tropes, and just get my words out. But here I am, avoiding my stories like the yeti avoiding cameras.
It’s sad because I honestly feel like there is nothing else I’m better at. At one point this year, I was helping four different people run four different RPGs, each of them turning to me as a sounding board for their narrative structure and the occasional bit of advice on what would make a compelling story. (I’ve always been able to polish someone else’s stories into gems) It’s fun for me, it’s energizing, it’s painfully easy. You break story pieces down, rearrange them, put them back together, fill in gaps, twist, tighten and now you have a nuanced story that starts here, ends there, and doesn’t waste any time in between. *claps dust off hands* but here I am avoiding my stories like I avoided my ex girlfriend in the children’s area of Barnes and Noble that one time. At some point, something has got to give.
In truth, this last year has been a difficult one. In a lot of ways, I feel like I lost my spark. Without getting bogged down by all the details, let’s just say there were plenty of bumps in the road and the occasional brick wall. But, I persevered (with my wife’s help) and I’m sitting pretty now. I’m comfortably employed, generally well rested, and on course to build a new community of friends in a non-toxic environment. So why do I feel so unsatisfied? Well, as a very wise person once told me about my creative endeavors “You can’t not do that, and be happy.”. When it comes down to it, I just haven’t been writing, or creating, as much as I have wanted to. I’ve been avoiding the work, hiding under the umbrella of self care and telling myself I just wasn’t feeling up to it. I’ll be honest, I still don’t feel up to it. But I want something, and that means summoning the effort to do it anyway.
It also means you’ll be seeing me post a lot more nonsense on here. Stay tuned.