I have had nasty long intervals of not writing, though. Years, sometimes. Some of the most miserable times in my life. I was young, but I was working myself to the bone and often too tired when I got home from working 10-11 hour shifts at a job where people screamed at me over the phone about what a nasty bitch I was to even consider sitting down and writing when I got home. I didn't want to listen to anyone when I got home, not even my Muse. Even the weekends, I just wanted to feel the unfamiliar rhythm of having nothing to do, no boss breathing down the neck, no quota to make. The rare rhythm of having no rhythm.
I just scribbled in those days; bits of poetry, bits of stories. I was always planning to write, but finding that time and exhaustion and other people put demands on me that kept me from doing anything significant. I had no voice of my own, and no time to find one. But nothing ever got finished. I still have a rough time finishing some of my stories, but I keep plugging away on my back-burner stuff, the ones that I feel I still have a thread of a story connected to my soul.
After I got laid off in 2010 from the shittiest, most corrupt company I ever worked for (they are no longer in business), I decided to do two things: go back to college to pursue my English degree and to start writing stories again. I did both. By 2015, I had both my BA in English Lit and several poems and stories published.
Still, my writing and publication success was erratic and I remain, even today, mostly unknown. I am in a state of strange cognitive dissonance, both unhappy and not too disappointed at the same time (sort of in a Schroedinger's box of ambivalence) about my career thus far. But all that is for another day, another post. I am gaining more success. I "almost" made it into an anthology recently with some women who are quite well known in the science fiction and fantasy genres. Almost meaning final round. I'm saving that story to submit to a higher tier magazine soon. Plus, I have seen the darker side of becoming well-known. I have writer friends on Facebook who are stalked and harassed because of who they are outside of writing. And I consider myself way more radical. Plus, I just came out, so that is scary enough in today's climate. But again, another day for that particular rant. I'm getting off on a tangent here.
One of the modern writing abilities I have not been able to master well at all is blogging. I am so bad at it that I research things to write about, try writing about them, and end up frustrated that my blog post doesn't seem as sophisticated and cool as some of the other writers out there. The perfectionist in me takes over. Or I find a type-o a week after I've posted something and agonize over it for a month about how many people might have seen it.
Granted, the more accomplished writers I follow on social media have probably been blogging (and writing) for a lot longer than I have, but still. I shudder thinking how many unpublished posts I left sitting on my now defunct Wordpress blog. There are over twenty now on my Weebly site. I am so unconfident in my writing about non-fictional life stuff that I make a grand resolution on January 1st every year that I am going to get better at it. I'll put up a post or two and high-five myself, but then that's the end of it. I get caught up in life or whatever. Not trying to make excuses for my lack of self-discipline but I have been Vitamin D and Vitamin B deficient, and goddess knows, at my age, probably iron deficient as well. I'm monstrously tired. A lot. But that's all getting better gradually, with massive doses of D and B. There's also the self-confidence thing. It's the main reason I give up, both in story writing and in blog writing. I am done giving up.
Over the past year, one of the things I've been doing is more story and poetry writing but also more reading and studying of the non-fiction writing of other authors, via their blogs or books of essays. Hey, I'm thinking, I was good at writing essays in college, perhaps if I approach it from the angle of just writing an essay about whatever strikes me at the moment, then I might have a shot at getting more blog writing done. One of my favorite fiction authors is Ursula K. LeGuin. And recently I've come upon her books of essays like discovering a marble-sized pearl in an oyster. It was while reading the introduction to one of her last book of essays (perhaps it was her last) before she passed away, No Time to Spare, she floored me when she confessed she was not that great at writing for a blog either, though for a different reason than myself. For her, introversion...though perhaps that plays some little part for me as well. I'm just afraid of looking stupid.
Ursula's essays read just as the rest of her writing does, beautifully. And although I am certain to never achieve the level of wordsmithing that this woman accomplished in her astounding life, she has again inspired me to write...this time non-fiction. I am not going to push myself to some great heights or goals I will not be able to obtain with blogging. I'm just going to try to write more about the little life things, and writing things that appeal to me, while focusing the greater part of my energies to writing stories and eventually a damn novel. I will focus on trying to write essays about life and love and the stars in the skies. I'm going to write on the fly and edit a bit closer, yes, but I will not obsess over little errors not caught in the process. There's no such thing as perfection in our world.
So...right, I'm gonna write.