Boring and busy

Frankly, I’m fairly boring or fairly busy. Between writing and family, I have little time for anything else — Harlan Coben

Yeah, I’m either fairly boring or fairly busy. Sometimes, I think I’m simultaneously both. And I think between writing and life in general, I probably do have little time for anything else.

Where am I in the spectrum between boring and busy? Leaning towards fairly busy and that’s only because I’m trying to finish up a piece of writing before I jump into another one which I’m hoping to start on Tuesday.

Then I have three specific movies I have to watch that are related to one of my long-term projects. Call it research and homework. Maybe I can binge watch over the Christmas holidays.

I can’t fucking believe Christmas is next week. I’m not worried about shopping for gifts. That’s easy. Gift cards. Easy peasey. And I don’t have that many people to shop for. Then there’s food I want to make, such as no-bake chocolate oat bars. God, those are so good. I’m still craving pancakes. Make a batch, put it in the fridge, take ’em out and microwave them for a quick meal.

Anyway, I hate to make this short but I’ve got writing to do, movies to watch and sleep to catch up on. I guess it’s true that there is no rest for the wicked.

More than a need

Ignore all advice about writing. Leave your blood on every page. Every page! — Miriam Toews

This week, it looks like I’ll be rolling up my sleeves to get down to the business of building and nurturing the writing life I want to thrive in. 

I’ll be meeting with my mentor this week to catch up on a lot of things. He is going to get an earful from me because of recent decisions I’ve made regarding my writing. This is significant because I plan to do one-on-one sessions with him from now. The writing group set-up isn’t working for me anymore. Things might be a bit constraining.

I suppose it’s partly to do with my development as a writer and the things that I want to pursue as a storyteller. I might be a little ambitious as fuck.

But that’s too simplistic. I think it’s more than just being ambitious as fuck. There is a need. Yes, there is a need to write. But there is also a need to remind myself to have fun. To not turn writing into a job. Because, let’s be honest, that would be the kiss of death for me.

I have a better idea of what will inhabit my writing life and how I want to inhabit that life. I’m pretty excited by the lay of the land. The somewhat scary thing about this is seeing how it will all come together. I know what I want to do. But I don’t know how everything will co-exist. And on top of that, how will my writing life blend into a life that has proven on numerous occasions to be quite chaotic. 

I’m already dreading how chaotic February and March is going to be because in the last 10 years or so, I’ve always referred to that time period as the busy season. The upcoming busy season (February being the bigger villain of the two) could very well be the worst and I’m not being a fucking drama queen when I say that.

I know something has got to give. And I will blow up the busy season if not this coming year, then within the next two years. It’s inevitable.

Quite frankly, I’d like to blow it up now. But it wouldn’t be fair to the parties involved so I’ll have to ride through it to the other side. And then blow it up. Give them time to look for someone else who can volunteer their time. Even if I was getting paid, I’d probably pull the plug all the same.

Depending how crazy things get, I may end up cutting ties sooner than expected. The time is coming to move on. 

This need to write, to be a storyteller, is more powerful than I had expected. And I’m in awe of it and want to embrace it. It’s not everyday you become aware of how powerful a passion can be. Some refer to this passion as a calling.

Do I want to refer to this need as a calling? I probably will refer to it as a calling. But I’m not gonna pretend that whatever I write will change the world. Far from it. If only a handful of people who read my stories ‘get’ me, that’s more than fine with me. I knew a long time ago that I wouldn’t be able to please everyone nor do I want to. That’s a kind of validation I don’t seek.

I seek to be the best storyteller I can be. Most of the time, the way I go about it is unconventional for a lot of people. But it works for me. And at the end of the day, I couldn’t give a shit what anybody else thinks. 

Adding to the toolbox

A short story is a love affair, a novel is a marriage. A short story is a photograph, a novel is a film — Lorrie Moore

I guess if we were to go by the analogy of the commitment needed to write a novel is equivalent to a marriage, then I’ve gone through two marriages. 

Well, at least I don’t have to deal with pre-nups or divorces. Wow, no lawyers involved. Imagine that. 

While I have every intention of entering another marriage or two, it seems my brain wants a tryst, but not necessarily a love affair. If a short story is a love affair, what the hell is the equivalent to a tryst? Probably some sort of one-night stand, right? 

Anyway, my brain has no interest in entering a marriage at the moment (but I’m not opposed to looking around and keeping my eyes open because you never know, right?). And I’m totally fine with that because I’m still writing… just not marriage material writing. I mean there is commitment involved but not the official kind. Just a different kind of commitment.

Maybe this is my version of sowing my wild oats? It’s probably more of a case of finding a balance or adding variety to my writing life. Regardless, I’m having fun right now because I gotta get in my kicks before February rolls around when life gets in the way and I’ll be bitching and screaming until mid-April.

Right now, I’m just trying to sharpen the tools I have in my writing toolbox… and perhaps throw a couple of new ones into the mix. That’s an exciting prospect considering I’m have no idea which tools will end up in my toolbox. 

To be honest, I don’t knowing what I will end up acquiring. I say ‘Surprise me.’ This should be fun.