I’d like to say up front that I feel really weird posting this blog. At first glance it might sound like something really bad has happened. Nothing has. In fact, life is pretty solid. I’ve been struggling lately with the idea of me as a writer though and this is me talking through those emotions. It’s some real talk so know that before clicking on this long, but good read.
Like I said, I feel uneasy posting this. I don’t really talk about stuff that’s bothering me publicly, or at all – my fiancè will attest to that. But I figure if I want this blog to start being an honest look into my life, especially as an aspiring, this needs to be said:
I’ve had an interesting couple of weeks emotionally.
Like I said above, nothing bad has happened. In fact, it has been an amazing summer. My girlfriend graduated college and moved in – something we’ve been looking forward to for a long time. I went ahead and made said girlfriend my fiancè while on our killer vacation in New Orleans. I’ve gotten some awesome new responsibilities at work, had a blast exploring my new city over the past year, and even managed to get myself into some semblance of “decent shape.”
It’s taken a lot of work to get my post-college adult life going. Moving to a city where I did not know a single person, taking my first foray into the professional world, and figuring out what life is like with all of the responsibilities that adulthood entails has been a fairly interesting experience and I’m excited to have seen the adult me emerge.
In high school and college, writing played a huge role in my life and my sense of identity. Obviously. This blog is called Wanna-Be Writer. After I graduating college and beginning my transition into adulthood I began to question the relationship I had with myself as a writer and whether or not it was going to transition with me.
I must admit I never did give that question the time it deserved. Life happened and before I knew it my time and attention was redirected towards making good impressions at work, rebuilding my social life, working out, and trying to handle all of the major life changes that have happened in the past 14 months. From this vantage point looking back, I’m proud to say that I have done a pretty good job.
Sure. Writing got left by the wayside but I figured that it was a natural part of the transition into adulthood. If it hadn’t transitioned along with me by now, writing had probably just been a fun aspect of myself as a college kid. Right?
When I got home from work today I started getting ready to go on a run. Working out on a regular basis is something I’ve made a point to focus and therefore the 90 minutes after work four days a week is sacred time. I’d been thinking about my run all day and quickly changed into my workout gear. I even put my shoes on. But, before I knew it, I found myself sitting at my computer starting at an empty blog template.
How did I get here? I thought to myself.
Seriously. I barely remember sitting down at the desk where my laptop had been sitting all day. The better question was: Why am I here?
On and off over the past few weeks I’ve found myself wading through an emotional funk. Even more frustrating than being in kind of a bummer mood was having absolutely no idea what it was about. Having sat down at the computer and re-written this blog about three times now I am able to look back and see the signs I didn’t at the time.
Scrolling through my list of podcasts you’ll find I’ve been listening to episodes Ear Biscuits by YouTube personalities Rhett and Link and A Tiny Sense of Accomplishment by Sherman Alexie and Jess Walter almost non-stop for the past two weeks. Both are podcasts about the writers/content creators and their creative experiences and processes.
You might also notice that the tiny moleskin journal I have kept untouched until two weeks ago has suddenly been filled with notes scribbled hastily between meetings at work. If you were to read the notes (good luck, my handwriting is atrocious), you’d find that they’re about blog posts and ideas for my dust-covered manuscript.
Looking back, I can now see that maybe my writing was not something that got left behind along with my habit of staying out at the bar until 2am on a Tuesday night, but instead got steamrolled by the other parts of my life and is now starting to kick back to life.
I guess I’m surprised at how much my writing, or significant lack thereof, has been affecting me emotionally. It seems utterly ridiculous to say this, but I feel as if I’ve been going through a bout of mild depression because of the fact I haven’t been writing.
If I’m going to be fair, I have to admit that my writing had not been completely forgotten. I’ve even managed to squeak out a few quick and dirty blogs this summer, but never with the focus or enthusiasm that I had in college.
A part of me has struggled greatly with the idea of my writing coinciding with all of the other responsibilities and desires of adulthood. Maybe a more accurate way to explain it would be to say I didn’t put it on the same level of importance as, say, making sure that I work out as many days as possible. Or that it shouldn’t have just as much time devoted to it as making sure I get out and explore my new city. I figured that if I devoted that time or put that level of importance into my writing that it would detract from the other things that I knew deserved them.
I hope that so far this is beginning to make some sense to you. I know that I’m still struggling to grasp it all.
My mini bouts of melancholy (a much better term for it than depression) over the past few weeks in conjunction with today’s subconscious need to write haven proven to me that writing is still an important aspect of my life. Maybe even more so than I had previously thought. I definitely wasn’t aware of how much my emotional stability and health is connected to it.
The problem now is how to ensure that my writing is more generously integrated back into my life on a regular basis. I need to put just as much focus into working out my mind and emotional state as I do into my body. At the same time, I cannot allow myself to shutter myself into the corner of the room every night and neglect my fiancé and friends – they are equally important to my sanity.
Short of adding a few hours to the day, I’ve come to the conclusion that I’m just going to have to make the time to write. I really freaking hate this because it’s something that I struggled with even when I had more time. It’s actually something I used to
bitch write about extensively.
The only logical conclusion is that I’m going to have to carve out time every week to sit down and do some serious writing. And I mean more than a quick, easy, meme-filled blog post (though I will be sure to toss a few of those in there because they’re fun). It may mean sacrificing a little bit of TV time or sleep which, frankly, sucks.
The worst part about it is that I know if I’m going to devote a little time to writing, it’s going to mean devoting a lot of energy into it. I’m an all-or-nothing guy and obviously nothing is not working. The idea of going all in scares me a little bit because I don’t entirely know what that means yet or how to balance it in with the rest of my life.
Every successful writer will tell you that this is the crux of being an actual writer; finding the time to devote to your writing on a regular basis. The problem is that I’m really fucking scared that I won’t be able to find the balance. I’m scared that either my writing is going to start negatively affecting other aspects of my life or that I’ll be stuck living with these bouts of melancholy that ultimately end up negatively affecting the other aspects of my life.
I’m not expecting an answer. I know that I’m just going to have to push onward and try and find it myself. I’m also not expecting or wanting sympathy or anything like that. I just wrote this because I needed to get it off my chest and this seemed like the most constructive way of doing it. At the very least, maybe there is someone else out their struggling with something like this in their life and – even if there are no answers to be found here – they can know that they’re not the only one.
Once again, I really do thank you for sticking through this one. I know it was a long and pretty not-cheery blog. The knowledge that people still read this however goes a long way in making me feel like a productive “writer.”
Until next time,