Note: I posted this piece yesterday, and today I woke up with an entirely new perspective on the beast, which proves that publicly sharing angst divides problems to the point where they're no problem at all. Thanks, Universe, for so many wonderful, helpful and compassionate friends. (You all know who you are...)
When to decide it's really over? Lately, through the musings of other authors, different components revealed the dark under-belly of writing: Publishing. Some publishers dropped print lines without informing its authors; agents not performing to full capacity; the chronic debate of what publishers want/expect. It's as if the publishing industry is a ruthless lot of cutthroats - the Debbie Downers of entertainment. And then there's validity. Some published writers objecting to the non-published writers' thoughts and opinions. "Hah!" some will say. "I'm published, you're not. Take your opinion and shove it!"
Well, okay then. Maybe I will.
I long for those naive days when I penned the first Epic. Day and night I wrote, so in love with my story. It was like a ridiculous crush on the cute boy who finally realizes you exist. I could not get enough of it or the two following Epics. For sure, I felt, I'd see publication. My Epics were masterpieces (in my mind).
Now I'm not feeling that love - not for the writing and clearly not for the publication road. For me it's a case of "too much knowledge is a bad thing" scenario. How happier I was in not knowing the forensics of writing and publication. My personal La-La Land. Just me and my pen.
Did I mention that the joy of reading has dissipated, too? Used to be I could swallow a book in its entirety within a day or two. Now I find myself in the thralls of guilt if I do that, thinking that I should be writing, not reading. Not to mention, reading is now an unconscious editing session...as if I know that much about writing. Hah!
Where does it all lead? Is it a matter of joy vs. getting-the-job-done? My present feeling for writing and the lack thereof reminds me of my reasons for self-retirement. I left the job market because getting up in the morning was more painful than a slow bikini wax. Necessary, yet excruciating. My profession lacked self-fulfillment. I did not quit the normal work force in order to be a full-time writer, however. Writing did not come into play until almost a year later. Just something I decided to undertake, the voices in my head wanting a more tangible venue, thus, the Epics to follow.
That's not fun anymore. Learned too much. When thinking of writing for publication my thoughts waver to a more hermit way of life. The "Big Dance" is far out of reach, its preparation daunting. My heart aches for the times of blissful writing that entertains me.
Lately, the other writers don't seem as if they're having fun either. Was it always like that, back before I focused on publication road?
Perhaps it's my age getting in the way. I feel life shortening. That said, I want to enjoy more, angst less. Writing for publication just ain't doing it for me in that regard.
Is this blog my swan song? I'm not sure. Certainty comes in small bites these days. I drown in waves of doubt while longing for simple joy. "Take time off," some will say, but when I return the same dark underbelly awaits. "She's a quitter!" others might think. "Not a real writer in the first place." And there's the rub. Define what a real writer is, and maybe I can see things differently.
For now I sit on this fence, pondering which side appears greener.