I mean, I do want to write these posts, and I'd even say I enjoy doing so, but nothing much has changed since I blogged about feeling unable to create after the crushing results of the 2016 election.
I've focused a lot on nonfiction and other projects, but whenever I want to write creatively...meh. I can't bring myself to open a Word doc. Nonfiction writing can be creative, but I feel more personally invested in fiction writing.
I'm trying to think of how to describe the feeling. It's like when I think about continuing something fiction -- or even re-reading an old draft to ease myself back into it -- I want to glue myself to the floor (and not get up). Or, maybe it's more like a weight pressing down. Or when you know you ought to take the trash out, but it's freezing outside, and all your winter weather gear seems to have disappeared. So you leave the trash in the can.
|Since we're talking about trash cans...|
I've always been able to at least open the document, look at what I wrote before, and say, "Wow, this is shit," before closing it. Now I don't even want to open the doc. The closest I've gotten is plugging in my thumb drive.
Everyone is urging creators and artists to create when they feel down about the direction our country is taking. Perhaps it's the overwhelming pressure of responsibility for one's creative output to be meaningful or "worth it," or perhaps it's simply my physical limitations, but this strategy hasn't worked for me. I don't have a ton of energy at the best of times. I have a job, fortunately, but I spend almost all of the rest of my time saving and scrounging and conserving my energy to do that job.
And my off days I generally spend recovering and preparing for the next day I work. My friends see active and smiley me, but in order to socialize at that level, I need to be a potato before the visit. Sometimes energy output exceeds the rate at which I can replace it, and I just...fall asleep. Or end up sitting quietly off to one side, burned out or in too much pain to be meaningfully present, and knowing that I should have conserved more. Or I'm the buzzkill who has to insist on ending an outing early, because my body imposes limits on how much of certain activities I can do at one time. Depending on the condition of my health that week, I need to spend more or less time conserving and recharging, but I always do need to put significant physical and mental energy towards it.
Perhaps with the stress that comes with being keenly aware of current events, I don't get any leftover energy for creation. Maintenance is hard enough without trying to do anything new. Or perhaps it's a sense of, what is the point of making a new thing at the moment?
This is all coming to a head because I have an important appointment on the same day as Inauguration Day. I'm not sure I'll be able to focus on ANYTHING beyond basic, day to day stuff until my unease surrounding the inauguration and my fears over the fate of the ACA are resolved. I don't even know if I'll get an answer at this appointment, but I'll at least have closed off a line of inquiry.
Everyone is writing hopeful think pieces and urging writers to write like nothing fucking happened, like it's business as usual. They're sitting in a burning house pretending everything is fine, and I'm like, that's nice and all, but writing your book is not going to help me if I lose my health coverage. And somehow all these think-piece writers and writing activists and the pressure to be positive and productive have managed to make me feel guilty, as if by having a totally justifiable shock reaction, or feeling too down and blah to write, I'm letting The Bad Guys win.
Tl;dr: I don't know how to work back up to writing again. Keep plugging in that thumb drive until I open the Word doc one day? Write something total trash that I'm not invested in? Do longhand? Do a different form, like poetry? Just wait it out? Advice would be nice.