October 21, 2016. That's the day I drafted the last blog post I wrote on this site - indeed, it's the last time I looked at the site for a long time. I had just posted about making the second issue of my lit mag, Hapax, a labor of love. I had also been in the process of submitting works and publishing. If I look at my current CV, there is a long gap between then and now, gracefully punctuated by a few small activities.
As you may know, my relationship ended in 2017 and I had to change everything. I got a new job, moved twice, started a new relationship, and adopted a new cat. Between the end of 2016 and the end of 2017, I became depressed and unmotivated. I finished my degree in December and continued writing a novel, continued sustaining the guild and my online relationships, and that was about it. I lacked the confidence to do almost anything. There were bright spots in that time, accomplishments and celebrations, highs in my relationship, but also a lot of lows.
After settling into my new job and new living situation, I became obsessed with working. I wanted to make up for all the time when I hadn't been productive, particularly in that lost year. Finally, in October 2018, I began to take language lessons. It proved to me that I could make time for other things besides work (even though I use language skills at work). To be honest, I went a little crazy, but I learned a lot.
The biggest lesson was how to harness my previous experience and education. Everything I had studied in the past, from business ideas to freelance development, to being creative and setting goals, became relevant. I feel blessed because I use some facet of what I learned every single day - from Latin verbs to reading and understanding statistics to web design and more.
Finally, I decided I wanted to write again. I've developed a daily practice of writing and being creative, squeezing time from my carefully-managed schedule in order to write. I'm happier now and I have a lot of works in progress as well as some publications past and future to look forward to. The last part of getting back to writing was restoring a public face to the world. That means resurrecting and polishing my website, my Twitter, and, of course, this blog.
It hasn't been easy or perfect, but I think I'm ready to continue creating. I hope to update this blog at least once a week. I'm planning to do Campnanowrimo next month to generate work. And I want to continue engaging with all of you. Thank you for supporting me for the past few years and being patient with me. I hope to talk soon.
I haven't felt very productive in the past weeks. Ever since Hapax and my adoption piece in |tap|, I've accumulated a feeling of exhaustion that won't go away despite trying to push through. However, I don't have anything to show for my struggles except for a few key things:
1. The guild is stable.
2. I am stable.
3. I feel in my bones that a storm of productivity is coming.
(1) was the item on the list that plagued me in early July, as Aisthesis suffered its worst setback in a long time. I'm going to write a series of posts about the guild and its history, inspired by a post on our forums asking for reminiscences, but the truth is that when something is not quite history yet, it is often too painful and divisive to write about without stirring up drama or hurt feelings.
(2), of course, should need no explanation. After a lot of time spent on intellectual pursuits, the emotional worry of a very personal piece coming out in |tap| and a literary journal curated by me personally, along with a vast underestimation of the ins and outs of putting together a literary magazine, drained me. That this all occurred at the same time as (1) should speak to the vast absorption of my emotional, physical, and mental self in the odd way that life likes to stack peaks and troughs.
(3) is just a feeling I have, but it's often a correct one. I know the pressure has been piling up, but I also feel that creatively I am just gathering resources for my creative output. However, at the end of each day, I am not satisfied by what I have done during that day, even if I know that lightening up is good for me.
So, today is the time to turn the page and start writing, start creating, check in on those photographs I never post-processed, and try to do the best I can for this month.
Cheers! I hope everyone is having a good month.
50k words, no excuses this time. Let's all get up and BITCH (butt in the chair, honey!)
There's that literary journal I need to publish, still, and I'd like to have that done before the flash workshop begins on July 11th, but now I think it'd be better to publish it after the 4th. Likewise, I have some important guild meetings this month ahead of WoW's Legion expansion. So, it's never not nothing.
Please let me know if you are doing Campnano this month, and good luck to all my fellow writers.