Hello friends. Today is the start of the Writing Heights Writers Conference here in Fort Collins, so I’ll be away from my website and blog for a few days while I help out.
I’ve been a part of the writing community for quite a few years (15?) and have attended several conferences, classes and events as both a member and now part of the team. Far from being an expert, I feel like I’m still learning things every time I step out into these forays with other writers. About writing, yes, but also about trends, and people, and methods, and humanity. And myself. Lately, I haven’t been very impressed with myself as a writer. In fact, my startling lack of creativity and drive has been kind of frightening. Even an 800 word blog post feels like a struggle. Nevermind that I have an anthology I’m supposed to be putting together in a month.
So what the actual fuck is my problem? Well…I mean I have a lot of them. But you don’t have time and nobody wants to hear the sad-sack history, but I think this particular existential crisis is coming from a hard round of lessons and the decisions I had to make because of them.
For a long time I was driven by a duel sense of purpose. But lately I’ve felt as though I’m faltering in that. Not because I don’t still love writing, or teaching, or any of the things I’m currently doing, but because I think I’ve put an unbalanced load of it all on my plate.
You see, I used to have martial arts as a balance. Something very physical, extroverted, technical to fill up the other side of my life, so that writing in its quiet, introverted, creative expanse was an equal partner. In this way my brain and body were fed, my need for social interaction balanced with my need for solitude. But now–without it in my life due to unfortunately but necessary circumstances, I’m very wobbly.
I think for too long I defined myself as both. And therein lies the problem. I have been feeling, these past months, half full. Half alive. Half of what I know I can be. I have filled the empty space with more writing obligations but it’s drained the creative parts of me. It’s made me no look forward to butt-in-the-chair time, and I am…edgy.
So the next two weeks are both filled with conferences, and book sales, and networking, and hopefully a reawakening of my creativity will be found sometime between the cocktail hours and the moderating classes. But I worry, that I will only feel more drained afterwards. And what then?
I guess it will be time to find a new balance. A new pursuit. A new purpose, to fill that other half of my soul. Breaks my heart to even consider it. This blog really doesn’t have a purpose itself. Just to let you know, I’m struggling. And as much as I love writing, I recognize that it is one piece of my soul that can’t drive my entire life, nonstop forever.
If you see me at the conference, stop and say hi. I’ll be the one juggling my existential crisis in the back of the room.