Letting Things Slide

Yeah, it’s been a loooooooooooooong while since I posted anything here, though I never forget that I have drafts of post ideas started and saved but sitting there piling up and accomplishing nothing. That, and since I’ve moved from one apartment into a new one, there aren’t enough hours in the day to get any serious editing done. I can get bits and pieces done, but the disjointed nature of it takes away from the pleasure of tweaking and polishing and reexploring this world I’ve put so much heart into creating. At the same time, it’s always been a sobering comfort to me that I’m not the writer who seems to suffer from the mischief of a demon of procrastination like this. For me personally, I pin it on my ever-changing anxieties.

I’m a person who’s deeply affected by the surrounding atmosphere. I can reach heights of creative ecstasy in the peak of any of the four seasons, with autumn’s colors, spring’s returning warmth, winter’s icy beauty, and summers carefree attitude, but on a bleak day, when the sky turns gray and I’m already carrying the weight of stress, all I can feel within myself and from all around me is misery. The same goes for what I’m aware of in the world as a whole: at the moment, we’re in the grip of an Ebola outbreak, and that’s just the tip of the tip of the iceberg concerning the world’s problems. From there, things become a vicious cycle where I enter a state of paralysis and lose all desire to accomplish anything as I’m filled with a despairing dose of nihilism. Normally, you might think this would make me more susceptible to be drawn into my imaginary world of writing, but instead it hinders me because I have been warned time and time again of the dangers of closing yourself off from what really goes on in the world.

That said, the key factor here is paralysis. Paralysis caused by any number of things, not just fears like mine. There’re the basics that I think most writers suffer from when they’re the kind that at times, unintentionally, take on the task of writing as one would take on a hero’s burden. That’s for me as well, on top of everything else.

When we get wrapped up in these projects that can take up so much of our headspace, it’s hard to keep it from seeping into the real world as we perceive it, and vice versa. We fear changes that might disrupt what we have planned, like illness, and fall down a dark spiral of believing for a moment that we will never see our masterwork realized. That or we fear the same outcome resulting from being inadequate as writers, or collapsing under the weight of maintaining essentially multiple lives, one being our own and the other or others beings the life or lives of our character or characters.

So what do we do about it?

Well, this is where it gets tricky for me. I try to abide by teachings that say, “Just live life for the moment, etc.” but to be honest, that piece of wisdom can annoy me when I’m in a certain mood, mostly because that’s hard for someone plagued by fears and anxieties to do on the turn of the dime, in particular regard to the future of their own projects.

But on the other hand, I’m also the type of person who thinks waaaaaaaaay too much about too much, hence the compulsion to make sense of the extra rigamarole in my head and putting out it into words that I can see in front of me. In my experience though, these spells of inactivity and letting things circle in the head for a while as I get distracted by the various tasks of real life–housework, packing up and moving out, moving in and unpacking, maintaining a full-time job, paying bills, keeping up with college courses–it all works itself out much like a fever, and gets worse before it gets better. Before I know it, I’ve gotten whatever knotted feelings have been causing me to stall, and I manage to plow onward with my writing life along with everything else.

Maybe it’s the very reason I’m so particularly interested in the genre of YA fiction, because I still haven’t quite grown out of being a sulky teenager now and then. In the end, if you ever experience this in your own writing life, don’t let it get you down. I always do, and it always turns out to be nothing more than my brain trying to tell me it needs a break from being wrapped up in my own thoughts and coast on day-to-day activities for a while, much like the need to recharge the imagination with a book for the sake of pleasure, or a really good TV show.

So…if you do let things slide, like with anything, don’t worry about it, so long as you don’t let it get out of control, much like that growing pile of dishes in the sink (wink). Otherwise, the vicious cycle continues.

That said, despite all this, more regular posting should resume soon. Until then, peace out. 😀

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