Being perfectly honest, Octoboer wasn’t a very good mental health month for me. I was getting stressed out, my emotional doubt was getting the better of me, and I wasn’t able to reach out to my small but invaluable support network in any meaningful way. In the interim I’ve spoken with my psychiatrist and we’ve agreed to step up my daily medication just a touch, but the results of that change won’t be truly felt for 4-6 weeks.
More than anything I absolutely lament the inability or unwillingness to write. I once heard some advice that resonated with me: “it’s not a writer’s job to be inspired, it’s a writer’s job to write.” The underlying sentiment was that it’s one thing to feel inspired and motivated toward a particular creative endeavor, but that the end result comes from hours of labor, not moments of brilliance. It’s easy for me to look at the past year and say “wow, I’ve written so much,” but it sill doesn’t feel like I have anything to show for it.
Last week an artist finished the cover image for what will hopefully be my first book, and I’m thoroughly excited about it. Enormously proud of it, in fact. In all of the back-and-forth with them about colors, design options, and the like, I wasn’t however actually putting in the time to write more of the content that would go underneath that cover. It’s the age-old problem writers of all stripes face – how do we get the character from A to B in a meaningful way? Whether it’s my mood or work stressors or a combination thereof, I haven’t been able to meaningfully contribute to my own story.
In the aggregate I’m sure it doesn’t matter, particularly with the amount of traffic this blog gets, but I also hate the idea of posting multiple entries on the same topic, one after another. I’ve had a few HOTS entries I’ve wanted to write, but I haven’t had any other new content to space them out. Maybe it’s just an excuse not to write, but it feels like writing too much, too quickly, about one topic might pigeonhole me into a particular theme, genre, or mode. It’s an irrational fear, but a fear nonetheless.
I’m hoping I can take my laptop this weekend and find some areas of quiet solitude where I can get out of my own head and actually put words to paper. It would be really nice to have a productive weekend for a change – right now my weekends are largely spent just recovering from the stress of the work week, and not being wholly productive at that, either.
I’d really love to wrap up my Covert Ops storyline, and things are certainly close to closing, but there are just a few more entries I need to put forth. It’s not that I’ve written myself into a corner, but I’m trying to figure out how to make the story, and the end thereof, interesting and compelling without making it too fantastical or unrealistic. At its core it’s a study of philosophy and morality, under the guise of a political action narrative, but there still needs to be some measure of action to keep it in-genre.
Though I’m planning to be on the road for much of tomorrow, and seeing family after that, I’m hoping I can get some work done (writing work, I mean) in the morning, to hopefully set off the long weekend on good footing. Last year I wrote enormous volumes in November through January, and I’m hoping this time around I can do the same – perhaps with a feeling of something tangible with which I can be proud.