My drug of choice is writing––writing, art, reading, inspiration, books, creativity, process, craft, blogging, grammar, linguistics, and did I mention writing?

Monday, October 13, 2014

What Is Going On??

Hello Readers,

It's probably about time to try and share a few of the things that are going in the turbulent maelstrom that is Writing About Writing's writer's brain. The last week we've been off schedule (and have flat-out missed a couple of entries), and I was hoping to have the whole thing gift wrapped up in a tidy little bow by today along with some explanations that would make you all nod sympathetically and say. "There there, Chris. There there. I'm only surprised you held out as long as you did." However, this weekend turned out in many ways to be worse.

I wanted your explanation gift wrapped for you, but it turned out my life (and my brain) was behaving more like this:

But there are people out there supporting Writing About Writing who deserve a lot more than for me to crawl into a shower and cry for another week while I post Youtube videos, so let me try to give you the "work in progress" highlight reel of what is going on just so this next week's ongoing train wreck makes a little more sense.

  • If you have no earthly idea at ALL, remember that my crazy superhero stories are not JUST crazy superhero stories. They are like magical realism–except with superheroes. You might have to learn to metaphor, but the truth is all there. The mailbox a week ago Friday has lead to one of my biggest struggles as a writer, and rearranging my schedule is turning into a nightmare.
  • It turns out that there are generally two struggles when striking back against the sinister specter of Not Enough Time™ and the quest to find time to write. There is the initial struggle to carve out the time, and then there is a secondary campaign to defend that time from incursion.
  • Writers joke (bitterly) about how no one respects their time because they sit in front of a computer and might even be staring out a window, but it is not the random stranger who doesn't get it that frustrates the writer. The closer and more supportive someone is about the idea of writing in general, the more difficult it can be when they think their thing should be a special exception.
  • That thing everyone in the whole fucking universe tells you about how you won't really have free time ever again once you have kids? It's ALL TRUE!! If you somehow do have time, the chances that you will successfully say to your long-term partner "Stop right there, lambikins, I need to use this time to write," and not end up on the working end of a guilt trip, an uncomfortable, or a Soviet-made AK-47 with a top mounted grenade launcher is infinitesimal. 
  • I cannot indefinitely spend every conscious moment writing or cleaning or caring for a baby (or maybe teaching ESL). I love writing, and I can probably do more 80 hour weeks than most people before I burn out as long as 30-40 of those hours are writing, but eventually I will succumb. I have even had trouble lately just finding time to read. And trying to write without reading is....it's like trying to only exhale.
  • The last week or so has led to one of the worst mood crashes since I wrote about my typical artist struggle with depression. I'll spare you an embossed invitation to the particulars of my pity party. There isn't any German chocolate cake left and the bevy of strippers (both genders) totally no-showed so I'm just sitting here binge watching The West Wing with a party popper in my hand.
  • I will share this one story from the pity party: I woke up this morning determined never to eat again (except kale, dry oatmeal, and vitamin supplements, of course) because I'm feeling overweight and unlovable. Then eggs Benedict were (was?) delivered to the house (by loving peeps). I cracked from my kale and shame diet in seconds, and the food was so deliciously wonderful. The universe, it seems, is not without a benevolent–but entirely fucked up–sense of humor.
  • I am working on some changes to the updating schedule of this blog. Not just little changes I often talk here during the new semester or if Unsupportive Girlfriend suddenly changes her schedule at work. (These are changes I usually refer to as "fiddling with the knobs" or "tweaking," and there is a new update schedule posted that no one but me cares about an no one but me follows and no one but me gets upset when I'm behind on.)  The changes coming, however, are actually huge, massive structural changes that I can keep up long term.
  • Tomorrow I have to remind people to vote and nominate in our current polls, but you should expect to see the conclusion to Self Reflection Sucks by this weekend. (Saturday at the latest.)
  • Before the weekend is over, you can expect the unveiling of an entirely different kind of update schedule.
So now you know. This week will probably be a little like the last. But if my calculations are correct, when this blog hits Saturday....you're going to see some serious shit.


  1. Welcome to being a human! Welcome to being a human that takes care of another tiny little human. And teaches numerous almost full sized humans (or conversely other full sized humans, depending upon age of your students)!

    Now. Breathe.

    We get it. Holy cow do we get it. We, ostensibly your readers and well wishers; absolutely understand with oftentimes mirrored clarity that life often gets in the way of....well life. Even the most well balanced, emotionally even keeled (is that even anyone these days?) person would need to take a breather and give themselves a break with your collection of duties and responsibilities.

    Your writings seem to be focused about your knowledge and experiences about life. So don't break yourself down because your living and EXPERIENCING your life.

    As for the double-whammy of depression and diminished image of self-worth/appearance? We as people are always self-critical, and our worst critics and know exactly how to hurt ourselves the deepest. Ignore that voice, he is a motherfucker (the bad kind ;) ). You know you are so much more than that. And many, many people see it that way too.

    So. Breathe my newly acquired friend. Breathe and play with that adorable baby, and eat what you want and continue experiencing life. I promise, we will still be here to read your filter on it as we experience our own.


  2. Chris,
    I catch your blog irregularly, and always enjoy it. Or, otherly, I think about what you write, instead of "popcorning" it- reading without much involvement.

    As Tristan says- breathe. I am reminding myself by telling you, because all of us experience the double (or triple) whammy sometime. The phrase that just helped me through (_is_ helping me through) mine is "Don't push the river." Maybe that will mean something to you too.

    Please don't set your goals so high that they become so discouraging that you cannot reach them, and stop. Do keep on. Right here you can see at least two rooting for you and understanding.

    Play enough.