I’ve finally done it, I’ve launched my Etsy store! I have a small selection of drawings available, but am looking forward to adding more. Other than this blog, the Etsy store is my first time putting my creative talents out for public consumption. For any of my two or three readers who are willing, I appreciate any reblogs or shares 🙂
I haven’t been blogging much, I’ve been working on a manuscript about my experience working as a corrections educator. I’ve started writing the narrative and it’s gone well when I’ve been able to sit down and write. But I haven’t been writing as much as I need to, as much as I want to. I can’t tell if I’m distracting myself, or if it’s just a phase – a flurry of activity from the world outside my writing.
I suppose this is part of why so many writers, artists, and musicians isolate themselves when they need to create. Although I love my life and my friends and all the wonderful things around me, they intrude on my bandwidth, take away that precious focus I need to generate the good stuff.
This is an entirely new experience for me.
Most of my life the last several years has revolved around my friends, dancing, and my social life. It is disconcerting to feel alone, to hear some small voice whispering “you could be writing,” even while I thoroughly enjoy my time with my friends. I feel like I’m in some unknown place, surrounded by a mist that lives and breathes, parting to let me see through, but not for long.
At the beginning of the year, I made the decision to get serious about writing. I committed to pruning away activities and projects that didn’t support my goal of becoming a successful, published author. Even though I have only myself to care for, this has still proven surprisingly difficult. I have great capacity for work, and love taking on volunteer projects, networking, and generally spending time in my community. The decision to step away is still working itself through, and I’m beginning to understand why intentional dedication to a craft can provoke intense loneliness.
It is hard, here in the beginning, to feel hope. I feel alone, unskilled, overwhelmed by the process of capturing and creating experience, and uncertain about the outcome of anything. I have no formal background in writing, haven’t read dozens of writers’ autobiographies or biographies, but I have the sense that this feeling – untethering from the familiar and retethering to the work – is something many have known.
What is surprising and sometimes frightening is that I can’t stop. Even when I want to call someone and make plans, or get more involved in a project, or simply do something else, I find that I can’t. I don’t want to be out late because I lose the mornings and that’s my best writing time. I guard my time, making few commitments, and those with lots of padding so they won’t interfere with my creative space. I keep my schedule clear so I can write when the urge hits me, I carry a notebook around everywhere, and use my phone to send notes and descriptions of dreams to myself at 2 in the morning.
This may sound familiar to some, but it is new territory for me. I’m lucky, I suppose, my sense of urgency is manageable and I can maintain my life, even with some balance. I’m lucky in that I’m not driven to self-destruction, or to hurt others, or to isolate myself from humanity and drink my own urine to survive. But the iron hand does live inside the velvet glove and now I can’t go to sleep if I haven’t written.
The minutiae of the every day
overwhelms my being
it has no Exit
there are no signs to show it out
no words outlining its path to freedom
I am trapped by my own experience
for the simple kindness of someone
I want to share myself with others
but there is no room
for my mistakes,
the common ugliness
anger, blame, bitterness
all part of who I am
hidden from disinterested eyes
they get the good stuff
I live alone
with everything else
There is room only for coffee shop conversations
fleeting and surface, full of humor and wit, or intensely moving stories
of suffering and beauty
no space for talk about the officemate I can’t stand,
my loneliness and self-imposed restrictions,
feeling unappreciated and overlooked, invisible
forced laughs when it gets too close to my everyday pettiness,
making sure my “attitude of gratitude” shows; that I know how good I got it.
I see the silver linings and own my feelings, not making them someone else’s responsibility
there is no place for my regularness to show itself; my not-reasonable human-ness is not-welcome.
I am caught in my own hall of mirrors, the sole reflection. My throat bulges, stretched with all the unacceptable, indigestible me
“No one likes a complainer”
but what they mean
is that no one wants to find out
why they complain.
the real reason
the bleakness that lies underneath
It’s too hard
to bear someone else’s daily grief
with our own so ever-present