Sunday, October 16, 2011

"Dazed and Confused"

Almost everyone knows that HSPs and Libras struggle with decisions. I've written about this before, but since June I've been internally debating quite a few. Not the type that determines whether you'll be eating Subway tonight instead of TGI Fridays or whether you should pick up a bottle of Chardonnay instead of that Menage A Trois red blend you love so much. No, these decisions are a little more complicated than that. And it starts with the truth-I am tired of writing.

I do not see the point in reading books just so you can pick them apart and wonder why something was written this way and not that way. I am tired of hearing opinion after opinion about how to make something better, what "works" and what "doesn't work." I am tired of being told what should be and what shouldn't be. I am tired of reading passionless excerpt after passionless excerpt from my MFA peers and having to make some kind of comment that makes it sound like I enjoyed reading their work. Yeah, I know this sounds stuck-up and snobbish, but I do not want to be molded into someone who only thinks and writes as if technique and structure were more important than feeling and creating. Since June I have picked up more fiction than I have since I was a teenager, but even reading some of it has bored me to tears. Most of the craft books I've had to read have been even worse.

I have cancelled one of my writing contracts because I didn't want to write lies about how the world of academia is of course, the ultimate truth of what actually goes on in the practical world. Besides, this client wanted me to put in the most effort for the least pay. That's not a smart or necessary use of my time. I'm really only still writing with two sites and it's taking me longer than ever to produce my work. Not because I'm slow, but because I get bored, distracted and just don't want to do it. In short, I'm burnt out.

My day job is okay. But now they want me to spend my days in my own office researching and testing software. I now get to contact vendors and write procedural guides. I was elected for this because they know I'm a "writer." I wish they didn't know. But when you mention in the interview that most of your current technical knowledge comes from writing technical articles and you have to request time off to attend your MFA residency in California.......well, there goes that little piece of anonymity.

I have long-term side effects from my concussion that I didn't expect. Not being able to sleep more than a few hours at a time, occasional random dizziness and nausea, irritability, not feeling rested after sleeping, taking 3-5 hour naps involuntarily, poor short-term memory, poor concentration, inability to clean my house in one spurt, random sharp pains that feel like an oncoming bad headache. At least I'm alive (for now). I'm aware that plenty of people don't even survive a head injury. This is my second. The first was when I was four years old. I guess I have some reason for survival, some purpose, some work to finish up before I depart this body. I just don't know what that is yet.

This isn't an inspirational post. In fact, it's quite depressing. I'm aware of that. Unfollow if you must, but as I've said before I don't blog for popularity. This is what I'm feeling right now. It's necessary that I have a job or a way to bring in enough income so I can pay my bills. That's why I don't quit my day job or terminate all of my writing contracts. It's not necessary that I get an MFA (which so far I don't think is for me, even though I'm aware some people would give their teeth to be in this program), write a novel, a collection of short stories or poetry, or publish them and then elevate the hell out of myself because now I'm a "real writer." To be honest, that's not even why I applied. I wasn't in this to get a book deal, submit a bunch of my work, or "become what I should be." I applied because I wanted to grow, I wanted to feel passion about something, I wanted to enjoy life. And most of all I wanted to escape.

But the truth is, none of that has happened. The truth is that I barely work on my creative work because it's the last thing on my priority list. Because it's not necessary. Because I have no passion. Because I am done traveling this road.


  1. We all have dry spells and we all get discouraged and frustrated at times....just don't give up on your talent Helen...I have a little something for you over at my do not have to follow the rules of the award...i know you have a lot on your plate right now...i just want you to know that I thing you are truly talented and inspiring! :-)

  2. Thank you Carrie! That's really sweet of you to "say." Not giving up on writing per se, just not sure if the MFA is the way to go for me. It's a lot of money, time, and turmoil. Plus I'm kind of still burned out from the last master's program and this one is going to get harder as I go along. I don't know how I'm going to possibly fit in a field study and research papers! I will be sure to visit your blog soon. Thank you again!