I haven’t been talking about writing lately because I have had nothing to say but a lot of angst. The stories I have spent the last few years working on were denied from the 5 or 6 places I submitted them to in the spring. This isn’t that noteworthy, being rejected from publication is not something that rattles me beyond repair, it’s just something that happens. But! It takes take time to research where to submit, send it off, wait wait wait wait wait, then get an email saying no thank you.
Yesterday I tweeted about Lena Dunham and her awesomeness in comparison to me… well, her awesomeness in comparison to anyone because she is 26, has a show on HBO, and a multi-million dollar book deal. So yeah, she is kicking some serious ass. I am 27, I had to put a major creative project on hold because of baby-making (and THAT rattles me way more than being denied from print), and have felt lately that I have no stories left inside me.
That feeling of vacancy is scary. On one hand I tell myself that the stories will come and sometimes “we (being other artist-types hosh posh hosh posh) go through times of living life and then other times of recording life. Sometimes the well is dry, and sometimes it is overflowing,” and on the other hand I tell myself that I’m not working hard enough and a dry well is just a symptom of laziness because it wouldn’t be so dry if I would just get off my ass and dig a little deeper. (The metaphor comes fullll circle.)
In school I always explained my writing angle as, “Writing about normal people and making them just a little bit of, just a little twisted, a little different. Making normal interesting.” I was so confident. I knew beyond a shadow of a doubt that I was one of the best in the room at what I could do, and that this one thing – this story-telling and creating thing – was something I was really good at. It probably was because I was around other writers, instead of being in a vacuum with just me and my own crazy, but somewhere I lost that confidence. I forgot what I was good at and instead of focusing on writing the kind of stories that I loved to write, I have been trying to think of stories that I assume people want to read. I told Margaret yesterday that I have been focusing on writing a plot instead of telling a story. And I think that is a major problem.
Then yesterday while I was willing myself to get out of bed and take a shower I got a rush from the well. That old, forgotten well, the dusty cob-webbed well that is covered in weeds, the well I thought was filled with those big round bush looking things that blow down the road in old west movies. But I guess it was just sitting there this whole time, waiting for me to think about it again.
I haven’t started writing anything yet. Yesterday I Worked 9 hours, then the trains broke down and I didn’t get home until after dark. But at least I don’t feel empty anymore. And I know that I will write, because all I wanted to do yesterday was stay home and write. It was a feeling I haven’t had in a while, but sometimes the business of life does take over for a bit, and sometimes I need to cut myself some freaking slack.