Tag Archives: unhappiness

The Back Burner

Every writer faces it: The Back Burner.  Sometimes life gets in the way, we realize that income and survival are more important that creativity, that passion is wasted on the young.  Our writing gets shifted to the back burner.  Eventually, we forget about it.  We tell people, “I love writing!” but the truth is, we haven’t hit the keys in months.  We say “I’ll be published one day,” but “one day” slips further and further away with every day we fail to write.

And our writing is forgotten.

My 26th birthday passed and I don’t have a finished manuscript like I promised myself.  Life got in the way, job hunting took precedence over hammering out my writing, being broke sucked the passion out of me.

I still love writing.  Or, rather, I love the idea of writing.  Truth is… I hate what I’ve been trying to put on paper.  I hate that I can’t do what I need to do to get my writing back to what it used to be.  I hate the back burner.  I hate adulthood.  I hate that the world doesn’t turn without back-breaking labor and copious sums of cash.

I hate that the spark is gone… but what I hate most is that I’ve finally recognized that the spark is gone.  I want to rekindle it.  I want to be a writer and make my worlds turn with words and phrases.  I want that pile of notebooks stacked neatly under my bed to be useful again.  I want carrying a pen in my purse to mean more than “Just in case I need to jot a quick shopping list.”  I want to be who I was three months ago.

And this is mostly just me whining.  I’ve done a hell of a lot of that on this blog in the last several months, but I’m not going to apologize for it.  No one has to read it, but I do have to get this out.  My blog is my very neglected outlet.

So, here’s to hoping the disenchantment passes.

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Lack of Motivation or Just Plain Laziness?

Since my move to FL, I’ve had a difficult time getting back into writing.  It’s taken a backseat to depression, home sickness, and self-doubt.  Mostly, I’ve just lost the motivation to keep writing.  Until now.  I’ve spent the last couple of months analyzing why I’ve lost the drive to do what I love and I’ve come to the conclusion that being down in the dumps just sucks away the will to find creativity.

After all, creativity isn’t just there.  It has to be mined and molded into something worth presenting.  Creativity isn’t worth a damn if you don’t have the drive to work at it, right?

I had an English teacher tell me once, “Yeah, that’s very creative.  Terrific.  Now do something with it.”

Doing something with it is where the work comes in.  Two months of doing absolutely nothing with my writing and my general creativity makes me CRAZY.  But still unmotivated.

Or lazy?

Maybe I just fell into a rut and I’m completely unwilling to pull myself out because laying at the bottom of the pit, looking up is easier than trying to climb the walls.

I could blame it on writer’s block…. except I don’t believe in writer’s block.  Fortunately, considering blaming writer’s block, a concept that never held any water for me, was exactly where I found my solution.

Write.  It doesn’t matter what you write, as long as you’re writing.  Eventually, in that flow of scribbles or key-taps, the block will be broken.  And in that flow of scribbles and key-taps, the lack of motivation, and lack of will to climb out of the pit is thwarted.

Short answer?  I tricked myself into writing again.

How do you thwart lack of motivation or laziness?

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An Apology to Myself

Number one destroyer of my current mental health: Unemployment.


I could spend the better part of this post going off about the state of the US economy, bad politics, and a blatant disdain for what our country has become.  We have a pretty epically awesome history, but– yeah, never mind.  I said I wouldn’t complain about what’s become of us.

I could blame everything from the unbalanced hold Big Business has on The Consumer, to the fact that, as a whole, we have become solely The Consumer.

I could blame my parents.  Everyone always blames their parents, but it’s not my parents’ fault.

Or I could be honest, and I could blame me.  I could do the responsible thing and own up to my actions — or lack thereof.  I could tell you that I’m unemployed because I was a lazy, smart ass high school student whose ambition was destroyed by butting heads with teachers who didn’t really care.  I knew they didn’t care about their students, and I should have had the good sense to account for that and care about myself.  I could have done better if I didn’t blame them for hating me, all the while contributing to their frustration with my bullheaded remarks and know-it-all personality.

I like to think I’ve grown since then.  In some ways, I have, but in others — well, I’ve gone from confident in all the wrong ways to self-conscious in all the major ones.  Life knocked me down a few pegs; something that happens to way too many people. Reality is vicious.  Reality doesn’t care if it knocks you off your pedestal so many times you lose the will to climb back up.

You have to care.  No one is going to do it for you.  No one can fix you but you, and you can’t fix you if you don’t want to fix you.

I can’t fix me if I don’t want to fix me.  I have to sometimes remind myself that talking in the second person isn’t going to change the fact that I am talking about me, even if it’s a topic I want to avoid.

But I’m trying to face it.  That’s the point.

I’m broken.  I can fix me.  I want to fix me.

The steps I’m taking to “fix” what’s broken:

  • Job hunting and tweaking my very limited resume to make me look awesome, even though that fact is debatable among employers.
  • Becoming a better pagan.  We get a bad rep, but we’re too busy being too afraid to “come out of the broom closet” to mend it.  Those of us with the ability should make some effort to educate.  Not through ‘conversion’, but through our acts in the community.
  • Motivating myself.  I can’t wait for other people to come along and pull me out of this ditch.  I need to write, read, and create the me that I want to be.
  • Loving myself.  It’s hard sometimes, but I can’t appropriately love others until I love myself.  It isn’t fair to expect someone else to love all the things about me that I hate, just so I can fill the gap.

And there’s my very depressing post for today.  It took me a couple of hours to write it, because… I hate self-evaluation, as I mentioned a few posts ago.

So, here I am, ready to be better, and willing to make the changes that are necessary to be who I want to be.

Are you who you want to be?

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I hate self-evaluation

“Once the Queen is dead, the king is useless.”

“… What’s that about?”

“I dunno… Maybe he’s too depressed to fight.  He really loved her, you know.”

Mm… chess references and movie quotes.

So, I’ve been flying through lessons at TFA.  I’m about to start Wicca 1, lesson 4.  I’m on Scrying 1, lesson 2 (I don’t put much into divination, but I figured it would round me out a little bit).  And I’m about to start Tools 1, lesson 2 (Which is easy, since I’ve been through it three times in other classes).

Lesson 3 of Wicca 1 was a little difficult for me to face, honestly.  It was a lesson in the elements and the Four Rooms.

Here’s a quick lesson in The Four Rooms:

You separate yourself into four parts, physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual.  Each part has a ‘room’ associated with it (which seems a little unnecessary to me).

“Our existence is divided up into four areas, or four rooms, if you will. Imagine that you live in a big house with four rooms. Your house includes: 1) a large, green kitchen with a small garden off of the side; 2) a bright yellow living room with a large, private balcony, 3) a luxurious, blue bathroom with a Jacuzzi tub; and 4) a cozy, red bedroom with a fireplace (do not forget the king-sized bed). Each of the four elements corresponds with one of these rooms, and each of these rooms corresponds with a part of you.”

~ Firefly: Wiccan Advancement by Iris Firemoon

The kitchen is the physical and associated with Earth, the living room is the mental and associated with Air, the bathroom is emotional and associated with Water, and the bedroom is spiritual and associated with Fire.

The exercise was to divide yourself into these four “rooms” and give a brief evaluation of the state of yourself in each.

Physically, I’m out of shape, I eat like crap, and I sleep more than I should.

Mentally, my writing is getting done, so I guess that’s an upside.

Emotionally, I’m 25, single, and watching all of my friends get married and start families.  I feel like crap.  Blah.

Spiritually, I’m connecting with my religion again, my writing is getting done, but I’m still stuck in the ‘love myself before I can appropriately love others’ conundrum.

So… I really don’t know if this exercise was made to make the student feel like crap enough to recognize that change is necessary, or to just understand the material, but holy fucking downer, Batman.

But.  This is nothing an over-consumption of caffeine won’t temporarily fix.

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My Brain’s Been Stewing – Writing Groups

I pulled an all-nighter last night and it’s made me a little irritable, I think.  Right now, I think I look a little like this:

It's oddly difficult to find a picture of Oscar looking grouchy, you know.

Normally, I get this way and I start thinking about things I’ve come across that have honestly bothered me.  This is going to be a big one.

The Writer’s Spot made a post recently that detailed how to create your own writing club. I thought it was a great post, considering I had just started working with my local library director to put together my own writing group.  Very convenient!

However, a man named Richard, with no link to a blog that I can provide for you, leaves this comment:

“Sorry to rain on your parade, but I think writing clubs are only good if you are going to “play” at writing.

If you want to get serious about writing there’s only one way to do it and that’s to sit down each and every day and WRITE! That’s all there is to it. There’s no easy path. You simply write and write and write. EVERY DAY!

And the feedback and criticism you’re going to get from other amateur writers is, well, amateur in that regards, too.

Want real feedback and criticism? Tailor your writing to a specific market, put it in an envelope with a SASE (self addresses stamped envelope) and send it to a publisher. If it comes back without comment then it either stinks or didn’t fit the market you were aiming for. Read it with your own critical eye and send it off again. And again and again.

If your writing has some merit then the rejection slip might actually have a hand scribbled note of encouragement.

Now, here’s the great part…if what you’ve written is actually good the people you sent it to will send you MONEY. That’s the best feedback of all.

How do I know this to be true? Because I paid the rent, electricity and put food on the table for years doing just what I said above. Eventually I realized writing wasn’t paying enough to buy that boat I wanted and sail off into the sunset on, so I got myself a job as a deckhand on a boat and after putting in the requisite time the Coast Guard requires I got my license and had someone pay me to sail off into the sunset in THEIR boats. And let me tell you, the sunset looks pretty good in Antibes, France, and Marbella, Spain, to mention only a couple of places I’ve been paid to be.”

I understand the opinion, to some degree.  But how fucking rude, right!?  Maybe he fails to see the benefits of hearing the opinions of peers “amateur” or not.  Writers are readers.  No exceptions.  Have you ever met a writer that didn’t read avidly?  No, right?  Because how do you get a grasp on how to write a story if you’ve never read one?  And in a writing group, you aren’t there to listen to the opinions of writers AS writers, you’re there to hear their opinions as readers.  You don’t need a degree in creative writing to be able to tell someone “Your story isn’t popping off the page for me,” or “I’m not connecting with the main character and the sentence structure in the middle of chapter three isn’t flowing very well.  Stop tipping back the margaritas while you’re writing,”  or something, right?

What works for one writer doesn’t always work for another.  A friend of mine is a list-maker.  He makes list upon list upon list until he can piece together his plot.

I’m like… what the hell are the lists for?  I don’t even think that organized.  I throw my ideas on a cluster sheet, and I write freely until I find points that I like.  Then I put them into a summary.  And the post it notes?  Omg, everywhere.

I dunno, man, then this guy goes on some rant about boats and getting paid to sail which has nothing to do with his comment, really.  Aside from “I’ve gotten paid for writing AND I’ve gotten paid for sailing!”  Um.  Woo, man, good for you.  What does that have to do with anything?  o.O  Anyway.  There is my rant.  Maybe I’m over reacting, but it BOTHERED me, and it’s been on my mind.

This is the part where I make up for it by hugging people.  But I’m prickly.  I’ll send you all “I’m sorry for being a whine-ass” flowers instead.

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New Projects and the Commonwealth of Massachusetts

So, I mentioned in my FFT post that I was planning a new on-going project, just to kill time and keep my brain from exploding.  I love my WiP, and writing Z, Gage, and Periss is hilarious and amazing, but I’ve been getting the itch for something new.  I do that so often, it’s retarded.  I have fiction ADD.  I think I need a support group.

Anyway, I’ve decided on a fantasy theme, a blend of modern America and kind of an Alexander the Great-era Middle East.  I don’t know quite how I’m going to pull it off yet, but I’m working on it.

And names.  I used to love naming characters, now I friggin’ hate it.  It was my favorite part, and somehow it’s gotten to be a part of the process that makes me beat my head against my desk.  I have three characters that need names, and I’m dreading it.

I do have a basic plot outline, though.  I’ll flesh it out a little more tomorrow, and I’ll steal a little freedom from my main WiP for awhile.

On a weird side note… everyone in my state is a jerk.  I read things about other people, and their experiences on their blogs or Facebook accounts, or… you know, whatever… and I’m like “WOW, that would not fly in Massachusetts!”  People are such raging douche bags here.  I mean, I’m an asshole to the core.  No joke.  But I SMILE at people in public, because it’s a courteous thing to do.  I hold doors for people, because I know I feel all “Kit SMASH!” when I’m inches behind someone and a door shuts in my face.

Common.  Courtesy.  Seriously.  Who raised these people?

There’s a time and a place to be an asshole.  It’s usually with my friends… who are equally brutal, sarcastic, and all-around-dicks.  We mesh well.  But I can conduct myself in public!  Why can’t the rest of the people in this Hell-washed state?

Pft.  Rant over.  Had to get that out of my system.  Thanks.  <3

***Also, to clarify, I don’t think I’m better than anyone.  The opposite is actually true.  I can genuinely behave like a bad person, and I know that most people are NOT bad people.  Why do they act like they are?  That’s all I’m getting at.***

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Brief Update

We’re pretty completely settled into the new place, though I wouldn’t go so far as to say ‘comfortably.’  We spent our first two days without gas or electricity.  People in the middle ages at least had the convenience of FIRE.  It was mind-numbing.

But then we got gas and electricity turned on.  Peachy.

Our water heater is broken.  I took a bath in a pot of hot water.  And yes, I realize that it could be worse, but I’m still disgruntled, so I shall continue to bitch and complain until the cows come home.

No internet until Tuesday.  *sadface*

HOWEVER!  There is a coffeehouse within spitting distance from my front porch.  8D  Weird hours, but it’s non-profit and there’s free wi-fi, so I can get behind it.  =]

I’ll have a few posts ready from my time offline.  Including that one I promised about curse words and their handiness (or inappropriate… ness) in fiction writing.  And my vocabulary exploded and left me slightly retarded.  Bleh.

ALRIGHT.  Wish me luck in getting my water heater fixed!  And internet in a timely fashion… ugh.

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