It is the easiest and the hardest thing. I have been struggling with it for some time now and for a writer, you’d think I’d just get up every day and make my coffee and write. When you dream the dreams of a writer it is just like that, but then the reality comes barging in all sweaty and swaying like a drunk uncle and you realize it was just a dream. That’s not to say it can’t happen that way, I’m sure for some it works that way. You know. Out there. Somewhere. On some tropical island. Alone. With umbrella drinks. But then there’s those like me who just seem like a hot mess of emotion and somehow, we’re supposed to get that onto a page somewhere and if we make our living as a writer then we also need to monetize it somehow. Ugh.
I have yet to learn how to make a living as a writer, that’s what I’m working on and the catalyst to my current mental health crisis. (And that isn’t to make light of mental health issues, I’m seriously struggling right now). Perhaps it is because I realize that I’m the kind of writer who needs to make meaning to create anything. And in order to make meaning, it takes a mountain of emotional energy so I can pour all of that into the batter I will later roll out onto the paper. In other words, it takes resources. And those resources cost. Man do they cost. And they recharge very slowly, you know, like when you plug your cell phone charger into your laptop kind of slow.
So now the great call of my life is to figure out: what now? Either I’m not going to be able to make it as a freelancer (which was my grand plan the whole time I was in school) and I’ll have to get some swanky office job to pay back the loans for my MFA, or I will have to overcome this somehow. Like my friend Katherine said, “stare it down”. Today I’m in the stare it down mode, thus you find me here, typing these words. Full disclosure: I’m totally drinking orange juice with just a splash of Fireball and yeah, it’s like 2pm. Yay day drinking! But you know what? I don’t care because today that’s what it takes after this 2-month dry spell from writing. It reminds me of my old Toyota Corolla Station Wagon, I’d try to go somewhere and all would be well for a while but then it just decided it was done with it all and gave me the middle finger and I’d have to get someone to jump start it. I carried jumper cables with me everywhere.
I’m certainly not advocating for day drinking every time you need a jump start but every now and again, you just gotta do what you gotta do. Today, for the first time since I graduated 2 months ago (are you noticing a pattern? Me too!) I feel like a writer again. Let’s see how far that will get me this time.