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November 22, 2009

Obviously, no post in a long time – an abrupt silence the end of September.  I guess I just snapped, at least as far as realizing that I haven’t written any actual fiction for the book since May, and that it was getting time to confront the fact that, in order to proceed, I would have to start writing about feelings, which would entail having them.  Which is Not Fun.  As I explained it to a friend, there’s something about sitting alone in a room at a computer, writing about someone sitting alone in a room at a computer, and then, after writing it, finding yourself still sitting alone etc.  I could tell in the last chapter that I was going to try and glide over the feelings that were coming up as part of the story or rush through those parts, or fall back on my humor or other defenses which have kept me in print, allowed me to write successfully without having to do the “feelings thing.” 

Writing is painful, and worse, it’s solitary – at least the way I live the writing life.  I am just not equipped right now to do this alone, to do that work without external resources be they in the form of a boyfriend (good luck with that) or other writers or some other set of people who can a) be trusted with those feelings, and b) be able to help me deal with them.  Just “having” them and putting them on the page and then sitting here alone with them…well, there’s a reason writers drink too much.  My friends are wonderful and loving, but few of them are readers, or writers.  And that’s who I need right now.  Of course that puts me in the catch-22 of I need people now/people are dangerous you should not risk it/you’re right let’s just forget about the whole thing.

So for now, I’m looking to other things – I want to teach writing, even if only in a for-hire/one-on-one Craigslist ad (w/no college degree I can’t get a real job doing it), some emotionally safe way of creating a connection, of working on something creative with someone else, trying to build a bulwark against the tide that comes over me when I try and deal with these things alone.  In the mean time, maybe I’ll tentatively pick up the research again, trying not to trigger that negative chain of ideas kicking in that says, why bother, you’re just preparing for something you’re never going to do. 

I have a good life right now – I’m employed and solvent, my health is great, I have fun travel plans over the next six months, a good social life with friends and family – and I keep thinking, why the hell should I put myself through some emotional wringer?  What’s in it for me, really, to dig shit up that will just sit there, steaming in a pile?  I don’t buy the Oprahisms about how confronting pain will magically make it stop.  And the pains I’m talking about – loss, loneliness, fear, etc. – are not just “events” from the past that can be processed, pulped and passed over, but things that are still part of my life, things that can’t be fixed just by testifying, let the healing begin blah.

What I did want to do was at least put something here that said, I’m not dead, I’m not sick, I’m just at a point in the process where I can’t go right now.  If nothing else, I’ll start repurposing this blog, start a new novel that isn’t about feelings, find a way to write again without it taking a bite out of my ass every time I sit down to do it.

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