For the past three years I’ve struggled to get things done. Mechanical acts are fine, but serious creative endeavours have slipped from my grasp to shatter into irretrievable pieces. This is in part because I’ve been ill, something I’ve maybe hinted at through past blog-posts but never actually said out loud.
It’s got to the point where I’ve been advised, in all seriousness, to give up writing for a little while. This is in order to take the pressure off myself, to allow me to recover without torturing myself over what I should be producing.
Instead I will be torturing myself with thoughts of what I should be doing, for endless is the list of tasks I assign myself. Driven might be the word; masochistic is another. But I’m not good at doing nothing.
Whether or not I try for any actual creative writing, there’s still plenty on my plate. I have to prepare a reading and a workshop for Edge-Lit, for one. I have my author questionnaire to finish. I have a novel to edit – unless that counts as creative writing and therefore verboten?
There’s also this blog to maintain. I don’t feel like I’ve been putting out very interesting stuff recently. I’m sorry about that. I’m trying.
Truth is, my activities firmly walk the line of creative/mechanical so much that there’s not much point even trying to stick to anything. I will write if I feel capable. I will prepare materials if my brain is stuck in that kind of gear.
Perhaps the important thing is to merely acknowledge that I’ve been given advice. I have been ill; I have been struggling. Whether any particular prescription helps or not isn’t, perhaps, as important as it is to stare it in the face and not pretend everything’s as it was before.
Also, maybe I should give myself a little credit. I’ve built an editing career in the midst of deep personal problems. I’ve edited my own work to publishable standards. If I’m feeling unsatisfied or afraid for the future, that’s maybe a symptom of what I’ve been going through.
But I am myself and the truth is that I’m not happy with what I’ve achieved. That’s not all bad as it drives me onwards to – hopefully – greater things.
Just as long as I don’t burn myself to the ground in the process.
UPDATE: I have already started working on my next (old) WIP , which just goes to show.