Saturday, January 06, 2018

I've spent most of this new year's days lying in bed. Reading. Reintroducing myself to the painful but satisfying way I used to write. Then reading some more. My body is sore from being mostly motionless, and I probably should start running again soon, but I need some time to settle back into my old, forgotten ways.

I knew I've changed, but I've never really stopped to think just how much. When I finished reading my first book for this year, I lay in bed, wreathed in darkness, and saw words swirling, tearing themselves up only to reform into images – like they do when I'm about to write what I think is a good story. Before I knew it, I was crying. I cried because I was exhausted. And because it had been a long time since I've felt this.

This was my spark. When I realized I'd gone for so long without it, I cried some more. There are things I can bear to lose. This was not one of those.

By now, I'm certain that all I have are my stories. That I am here in this world to tell. To weave words, to strung them like jewels. To adorn people with what I write.

And I am failing.

I have been making a living from writing, that's true, but I've come to resent most of what I've written. I can't stand rereading them. And now I know why: They've lost heart. They've lost madness. They're written carelessly. Like I couldn't be bothered.

People assured me they read fine, but I know better.

I guess when you have too many people around you, you get all these ideas that are not yours, given to you, in most cases, uninvitedly. And you try to discard them, but then they stick around in the back of your mind, interfering with your judgement. And I know by now that I should only do whatever feels right, that is why it upsets me and frustrates me that these outside ideas are still there when I clearly don't need them.

And so while I love having people around me just as much as being around people, I need to retreat. I am being diluted. Perhaps I had stretched myself too thin from maintaining all these connections. I was never built for such things in the first place. I am an artist. And I am necessarily selfish. I must take time to restore.

And this is where we are right now. I am retreating, stepping away, returning to the company I'd first enjoyed: books. I've forgotten how much I like them. Unlike people, they only speak when you are ready to listen.

I'm making progress. I've written a 2,000+-word story, and I love it. It took three days, but it was worth it. I'm trying to have it published on magazines, but if no one wants it, then you'll soon read it here.

As for this interim in socializing, here's what I tell myself: those who mind don't matter, and those who matter won't mind.

Peace out.

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