I’m sitting here having a small crisis. See, I’m feeling like maybe I don’t really belong here, writing for writers. Why? Because I’m a part-time writer. And recently, that’s been very, very part-time.
It’s been my choice, overall. Choices, rather. I have chosen to pursue a career that is not-writing. It’s not that I don’t love writing, or that I don’t think I could support myself doing that (although I have suspicions about being able to support my family, but that’s a whole different thing, and quite possibly connected back to this feeling of being an imposter in some way). It’s simply that I love science, and being a scientist, and I have been reaching life-goals this past year. However, in doing that, I’ve not been focusing on writing. You know that phenomenon where you see what you’re focusing on? The Baader-Meinhof phenomenon? Yeah, that one. The one where I’ve been focusing on being a mother, and a scientist, and recently a home-buyer and even though all those things provide fodder for the writing, today I have no brain for writing.
For me to write, I need to immerse myself in the story, and I simply have not had the time to do that. I have great excuses – last week I was house-hunting, looking at 2-4 houses every day after work, and the week before that I was traveling for training for work and… Even this morning when I woke up at 3:30 am for some reason known only to the deity, I couldn’t write. I sat here and stared at the screen for a ridiculously long time before I started writing, and then the husband asked for coffee and the dog asked for out (and in, and out, and in. I swear she’s part cat. She left a mole on our bedroom floor for us the other morning). My concentration is shattered, and it’s not the demands on my time, it’s me.
I haven’t been able to read, either, recently. For a couple of weeks, now. I’ve been reading non-fiction, like the paper on really nifty new thermal fabric that mimics polar bear fur, and was adorably tested by giving a lab bunny a cape that made it invisible – at least to a infrared camera. I’ve been listening to a lot of non-fiction in the form of podcasts while at work. Fiction? Hasn’t been meshing with my mind for a while. Which is likely why I can’t write fiction, either. My gearing is out of sync.
This weekend I’m hoping to be able to switch gears at least a little, because we have no plans. We’ve put in an offer on a house, and even if they reject it, we know there are other houses. Quite possibly better houses. I could write reams about house-hunting, but I won’t. At least, not here. It’s been a fascinating and educational process, I will say, and I am absolutely certain bits will wind up in a story at some point. But for now, I am planning to stay home, possibly cook, and nag the kids to do their chores. I’m hoping to even pick up some fiction for pleasure reading. Maybe. I have a really cool (and huge) book on bugs I’d gotten last week that I’m looking forward to ingesting. Um. Reading. Not eating bugs.
I might not have been able to write, or draw, or paint, for the last couple of weeks, but it’s not the first time I’ve had a dry spell, and it probably won’t be the last, either. I still wonder if I should take back my writer-card to whoever issued it to me and turn it over, though. I’ve become a dilettante. I ought to be able to site myself down every evening and pound out a thousand words, but I can’t. I come home, I fall into bed, and even on a bad night when I’m up at 3 am staring at the ceiling, the stories are hauntingly elusive. I feel out of touch with my writer friends, like I’m on the outside looking in while they are productive and getting the books out. I’m not sure I can call myself a writer, any more. I might not finish a book this year, even though I feel like I’m close to the end with East Witch.
I don’t want to end up like one of those writers, coasting on years-gone-by accomplishments. I don’t want to finally get a book out, only to realize it’s not a good book. I want to write, and I can’t. I’m frustrated. But I’m also distracted, and need coffee, before I do what needs to be done today. Like cleaning off my desk, and getting boxes to the post office, and… there’s always something.