Good news: I'm alive!
Bad news: I still don't have my head above water...
Good news: But it's getting closer!
Bad news: Close, not no cigar.
I'm sorry I've been away for so long. I miss interacting with you all. Unfortunately, I've continued to battle workload and exhaustion since my job transition in the spring. I still believe the job transition was the right move, both for our organization and for myself, but none of us really anticipated what the transition was going to entail. I won't belabor that anymore.
I have some great news to share with you all, and I want to update you on writing projects, but I hope to be able to post again within the next couple of days. Today, I want to spell out a few things I've learned in my absence. The horrible truth is that in this time I have been absent, I have gotten no writing and really no reading done. And that's with a book almost finished and a book sitting on my night stand by the great Domey Malasarn, that I am so excited to read. So here, for me anyway, are the morals of the story:
1) I can approach writing in a professional manner. I can present myself in public as an author worth of respect. I cannot, however, truly approach writing as a job as long as I am working a 40 - 60 hour job and volunteering 10 - 20 hours a week and hoping to actually be a decent husband, son, brother, friend, and human being. There are probably people who can pull it off. I'm not one. As soon as I call it a job, I need to give it the same dedication and effort as I do another job, and that's just too much. Professional, yes; job, no.
But here's the thing: until I have a contract it really isn't a job so THAT'S OKAY.
2) Writing talk can be preposterously silly. I have not really been able to keep up much with blogs, because I haven't had the time, brain power, or eye strength. I have seen enough on the margins to know that some of my friends and other I hold in high esteem have continued to come up with creative perspectives and to find ingenious moments of enlightenment. But, I'll be honest. As I look out at writing blogs and writing twitter feeds, after not being truly in the loop, I'm a little embarrassed by how narrow our focus, how petty our concerns, and how irrelevant some of our great controversies seem to really be. I'm not sure what to make of that or how to respond to it.
But here's the thing: I DON'T HAVE TO talk that way myself, and I DON'T HAVE TO read other people who are talking that way.
3) Confession time. Seriously. I say this not out of self-pity, but out of empathy with the many others in my same position. Let's face it, in frank terms, being a writer with diverse interests and training and using up all you energy in pursuit of neither writing nor your interests or training is really, really depressing. And that creates a pretty horrible spiral as depression and exhaustion feed off one another. There are plenty of easy and pithy things to say about that. I don't feel like saying any of them, just admitting the truth, and saying to everyone else out there in the same boat...
"Hey, I get it, brothers and sisters."
4) I still don't have a lot of time. I still don't have a lot of energy. I still don't have a lot of brain power or eye strength. But I have more than I did yesterday, and more than I did a week ago, and more than a month ago. They say to go in baby steps. They say every little bit counts. I'm an all-in or it doesn't count kind of guy, so baby steps and little bits feel like nothing.
But here's the thing: I'm wrong and I'm trying to stop being stupid about that.
The good news is that my workload is finally starting to level out. It's summer so my wife's work schedule has shifted so we can actually spend time together. I'm beating my head against all new doors, rather than the same old doors, which is at least a change.
More very soon on some great writing news, but I thought after this long an absence, I owed you all a personal post first.