The art, and probably science, of coming back to oneself, especially as a creative, after a significant trauma, is not a straight line, but more like a manic freeform scrawl, like what one might find if a toddler were given a Sharpie and a blank white wall. It feels like forever. It feels big and blinding and impossible. It’s at once a fever dream and a much-desired goal. How to get there, though? Beats me. I have been through this journey more than once, may well again, as I still have some time in front of me, and each time is going to be different.
There are big chunks of wanting to do the things that make a person the unique individual that they are, to get the creative voice to make a sound, but …not. There is knowing the thing, knowing one likes the thing. The thing is right there. One could do the thing. This crawls through one’s brain like a news crawler. One wants to do the thing. One wants to like doing the thing. One wants to have done the thing. Does one do the thing? No. Why?
The easiest explanation I have, for my own individual case, is that there aren’t enough spoons. If you’re not familiar with spoon theory, it’s kind of like the pain scale. Basically, there is only so much energy a person has when dealing with a chronic condition, it’s finite, and putting spoons in one place means they can’t go in another. Sometimes they go to playing Sims for a few months or rearranging the furniture, or constructing planners or whatever happens to fill the need at the time. It’s different for everybody. It also very seldom resembles what the person thinks it’s going to be.
For me, I thought it was going to mean gorging myself on a steady stream of historical romance, preferably from my keeper boxes. Probably Netflix/Hulu binges, and oh the writing I was going to do. I’ve done some. I hired my first indie editor, the fabulously talented Jessica Cale, and got through the first round of edits, which then just…sat. Because. As with the reading. As with the viewing. As with the total lack of listening to music, which has some interesting results for my Spotify year in review. I will also mention the war between a mad race to the end of my Goodreads challenge, or shrugging that off and deciding it is what it is.
And then. Because there is always an “and then” when it comes to this sort of thing. Thing is though, there is no sort of time table, though one would be incredibly useful. Maybe, though, we write it as we go. At any rate, we go about it one foot in front of the other, maybe even plodding through rambly blog posts, or lack of blog posts and it gets annoyingly tedious. Will This Ever End? Maybe there has been some writing, but it’s more like going for a hike with a cartoon style ball and chain around one’s ankle. Doable, and one can technically get to one’s destination, but is one going to appreciate the scenery and/or have a lovely chat along the way? Possibly not so much.
But back to the “but then.” Then one day, one does. Oh, look, I’m reading a book. Oh look, I finished watching a series on Netflix. Oh look, I added something new to Spotify. Oh look, sleep tracker shows a steady bunch of nights that count as decent rest. That’s all good stuff. It’s not one thing. The ball and chain doesn’t drop off dramatically. It gets ground down by a million single steps. Online chats. You Tube videos playing in the background when not looking at the screen. Mindless tablet scrolling, like treading water in an infinity pool, no agenda in mind.
Then one day, the ball and chain isn’t there. It’s weird. Writing is a challenge, and then, one day, it’s …normal? The way it should be? Familiar? Sort of “oh, there you are.” Not exactly the same, because I don’t think that’s possible, but okay. Stepping from one room into another.
Do I know where this is going?
Not sure, but it’s real, and it’s true, and writing it feels good, so I am going to hit the publish button and then get on with my day. Moving to a two blog a week schedule, one of those Storm’s responsibility, honestly has made a difference in my fiction writing, so I am thinking of keeping the practice beyond December. Not sure yet; we’ll see, but putting the emphasis on writing romance fiction, feels right.