05 December 2012

Making Yourself Into Something

I was just over reading Tanya Eby's latest blog, and felt compelled to write one myself. I, too, have felt like a slug lately. Maybe it's the holidays, maybe it's the other stresses in life. Trying to fund the wife's college education. The wife signing up for substantial surgery this coming year. Home repairs. Potentially life-altering changes at work (not to mention an economy in the toilet that has it out for my industry). It makes my head hurt thinking about it all...but I do have it better than most, though, so guess I shouldn't complain. Stay positive and all that...

Despite my continued book sales, it's been a rough couple of months lately all around on the book front. This has made it difficult to focus on getting any new writing done. In fact, other than a few pages here and there, there's been no progress on the next novel for some time. Short stories have been a little better, but even these last few months have been a bit dry.

Trouble is when the issues compound each other...my sluggish feelings have made me more antisocial than usual, so I don't feel like interacting with people (which is okay, because other than a few folks, not many people want to interact with me either). And as I've learned over the years, selling books without a huge bookstore presence requires a lot of social interaction. So, when I don't talk to people, the sales don't show up. When the sales aren't there, I don't feel like writing (why bother writing it if it won't sell, right?). And when I don't write, I feel like a slug, which makes me feel like talking with people even less and the cycle keeps on turning.

I wrote down an interesting thought the other day: When you spent an entire life making yourself into something, what do you do when it turns out poorly?

This is me and writing, in a nutshell. I've been seriously writing for almost 20 years now. Could I just give up writing altogether? Doubtful. But if my self-image has used writing as a major cornerstone this long, what happens when it starts crumbling?

One of the bright spots, though, is some recent workplace success...which has been good (even though stressful). Since I figure that has to be another cornerstone, at least there's that. But it also gives me an excuse toward the fact I'm not writing.

Maybe I'll find the solution soon. Until then...