Monday, December 21, 2009

The Fenceposts of My Life

I might suffer from PTSD (post-traumatic school disorder), defined (by me) as how a student feels after entering writing intensive courses blindly, and surviving to tell about it. This past semester goes down as one of the most brutal. Many times I wanted to walk away from it all and take an "incomplete." But I hung in there, counting the days until the end while telling myself that I'd skip next semester.

Today I met with my U.S. History professor in order to learn my grade. Earlier this morning, I opened up my documents file and read part of a stagnant WIP, which was a regular "What the f**k was I thinking?" moment.

A few moments ago I registered for next semester.

Did I mention what my professor said? He said, "Your work was exemplary. A+, but really just an A because the college doesn't allow A+'s."

Hello, PTSD! (P.S. YAY ME!)

Many of you saw me fall off my writing edge only a few weeks ago. In my last blog post, Natasha Foundren commented that my "quitting moments" come near semester's end. I weighed her comment with other possible reasons for my "quitting moments" in order to gain some perspective. Admittedly, the year alone sucked for me. Bought a new house, didn't sell the old one, and losing my best friend, Daisy, all took a toll. We moved into our new house, and that same week I began the Fall semester.

But it wasn't until a few weeks ago that it all came to a head. My psyche took a nose dive, and well, you all know the rest. The thing is, you who "all know the rest" are the ones who have remained steadfast throughout my tumultuous times. And it recently dawned on me that those who understand me most are writers. Whenever I sit on the wire wondering, my writing friends always run to the rescue.

Through writing I've learned about me, and maybe that's because I see so much of myself in others. And that epiphany is rooted in one common denominator: Writers. It amazes me how much we all "get" each other. The people who understand the creative beast and have survived to talk about it have the uncanny and unconscious ability to accept what the rest of the world can't.

I'll admit, looking at one of my WIP's paralyzed my writing muscle a bit (or maybe it was the inner critic's guffaw). But, I'm not saying that I'm walking away from writing. It's hard to pull the creative beast's jaws from my hide. What I am saying is that perhaps I'll never cough up something that will catch an agent or editor's eye, but now I realize that writing isn't about the end, it's about the means. It's reality lined with fantasy - something mere mortals will never understand. And now that I "get it," have seen myself through others, I have the renewed strength to move forward.

And now I'm enrolled for another rousing semester. What's four more anxiety ridden months? The better part of valor is in the learning of ones self.

How/what have you seen in yourself through the eyes of others lately?

Thursday, December 17, 2009


I know, I know. Am I gone or just plain crazy? I like to think of myself as anything but "plain," so suffice it to say I'm this:

You know, I have my moments, but basically it's the reason I write, which keeps me from falling over the edge.

Here's to my return. By fingernails I cling to reality, for if I grasp it life just gets too messy.

Friday, December 4, 2009

Consider me gone

Wit's end has approached. Call it a mark in the "win" column for inner critic, or me realizing that just thinking about writing nauseates me. Today I've reached my breaking point and it tells me to call it quits.

My ability to cope: gone. This writing life is a struggle, but when it gets to the point where ideas stop coming, perhaps it's the Universe saying "not the life for you." I'm good with that.

I suppose I could say that certain people have pushed me over the edge, but they don't know what their actions have caused, so it's sort of a moot point.

Instead I'll sit on the sidelines and cheer for my lovely friends; feel sorrow for the brilliant ones who can't make it in the bigs because their reality is misunderstood.