Sunday, June 5, 2016

When The Need Outweighs The Excuses

I'm having one of those days where I want to write, but I want to write on a project that I'm waiting for feedback on.  I could write on one of a couple of different projects I have going, but as usual, on my day off, I'm just not feeling it.  I should be more disciplined in my writing, but not being a professional, I really consider it a hobby.  Not exactly a relaxing one, but a cathartic one, in my case.  Like most writers, I tend to use personal experiences for the characters in my writing.  Sometimes they are based on me, sometimes on others I know, sometimes composite of many people I know.   Sometimes my own stories as is, or embellished for drama or humor, sometimes stories that are purely fiction.  But always the finished product is a mixture of the two.  I suppose that's why it's much easier for me to have other writers that aren't that close to me read my work than people that might find themselves hidden within the pages.  Or not so hidden depending on the healing I'm writing through.

I don't know if all writers get some of their angst or trama out in their writing, it's almost horrifying to imagine that authors like King, or Poe or Lovecraft or Shelly were writing about their own personal demons, but  knowing about some of their short lives, it could be.  King is winning, I'd say, if that's the case.  And perhaps it's what keeps writers sane.  That ability to get it out on the page, rather than have it cluttering up their minds.  Maybe that's why it takes me so long to actually get in the mood to write, but once I start I'm fast at getting it down.  Unlike a professional writer, I write for myself.  I guess you could say I'm my target audience. 

And while that is freeing, as I only have myself to please, it's also crippling, becuase I only have myself to please.  How do I know if it's really any good?  How do I know if it could help others as it's helped me?  My guess is to release it to trusted editors for opinoins.  And then, if brave enough, releasing to the world.  Now that's a very scary prospect to me, because I'm never sure if the world wants to hear my thoughts.  Equally I'm not sure they deserve to.  I don't write to 'become famous' or 'be heard'  I hear myself just fine.  Sometimes I hear too much.  And that's when it must get written.  Those are the times many of you have heard me say, 'I need to write because the characters in my talking too much.'  But that usually happens only when the need outweighs the excuses and distractions.  I've been known to hide out in my studio for an entire vacation just to get a play written and formatted.  I've also been known to be distracted by my electronic life for entire weekend.  Many, many times.  Technology has replaced personal relationships for me and I have dove into it with the same love and attention I would give a partner. 

You might think that's sad, those of you that frequent the outdoors or believe I should.  But unless I'm camping or in a very beautful natural surrounding, I find outside in the city to be just a transistion from one indoor duty to another.  Like my comute from home to work and back again is spent reading on the train. Not looking at the man made nature.  I miss grass beneath my bare toes, and bon fires with friends.  I miss mountain air and looking at an endless view from treeline atop Pikes Peak.  I miss the ocean crashing on the rocky shores of the pacific northwest.  I miss the hikking trails of Hixon Park in Wisconsin.  And long drives just looking at stars or the moon as it sped to keep up with the car.  City parks just aren't the same.  Perhaps its the stark absense of any wild life.  The animals aren't fooled either.  So I try to surround myself with cut flowers and some hardy plants, and although they always seem to die on me.  I just don't have a very green thumb.  And no space for any type of garden.  Thankfully Chicago rests on the shores of Lake Michigan, the third largest great lake and the beaches are bigger and nicer than you'd imagine.  The lake is so large it has tides and of course you can't see the opposite shores.  This feeds my need for nature when I need it, but I admit I don't go as often as I should.'s the crowds of people I don't miss on my days off.  But soon I'll get there again this year, perhaps more than any year before.  For the water is the element that I need the most to feel balanced.  I have always been happier when living next to water.  Weather a lake or river or ocean.  But it is necessary to my wellbeing.  I'm almost motivated to go today....except it's very gray and rainy looking....not the best day for the beach.  And there is laundry to do....and dishes to wash...and more excuses that outweigh the needs.  Perhaps in two or three weeks I'll make it down again.  Perhaps by then I'll be wanting an adventure.