Miscellaneous Mental Musings of an Emerging Artist
It would be inaccurate to refer to it as a Long Dark Night of the Soul, because (a) I’m sure it could certainly have been much worse, and one day probably will be, so I’d rather save the distinction for that time; and (b) because it has lasted a little over a month now. Sort of a Long Dark Alaskan Night of the Soul1.
It would be difficult to bore you with the particulars. The particulars bore me enough as it is. That’s perhaps the greatest pain of it all, is just how aggressively boring it all is, this experience of my emotional state. It is played out and isn’t likely to become retro-cool anytime soon. My black is not the new black. My blues have been produced within an inch of their life and are currently climbing the German techno dance charts, the perpetual song of three AM played specifically for the last few left standing.
I have been writing and revising the dictionary definition of my identity with the same painful overthinking that I have been applying to the writing of Contraption, which is actually going better than it was when last I mentioned it, although I am plagued by a mean ugly mob goon of a doubt with every passing page. I have briefly accessed that battered old file box of my juvenile death romances, lingering for far too long on the curiosity of vanishing completely.
I have not been well. I am taking steps to counteract that. One of the first is writing this entry.
Throughout the process of this project I have unconsciously manifested the work as some sort of fossil fuel reservoir; believing that in order to properly create Contraption I had to eschew, as much as possible, all other writing, lest I use up the rhetorical effort that should otherwise be designated toward the prime-time show. We cannot spare any vocabulary for that right now, says the chief supply officer of my left hemisphere, it has all been shipped to the Priority One. If you would like to fill out this request form, we will expedite your request as soon as possible. No, I don’t know how you’re supposed to fill it out without any words of your own. That’s your problem. Sorry. Please step aside, now. Next!.
This was an error. And the supply officer has been transferred.
The truth is that I need to be writing more of everything. I need to be seizing every opportunity to exercise the creative muscle, even if much of it has absolutely nothing to do with Contraption. It hasn’t been a lack of inspiration, really, it’s been a lack of proper stimulation.
I am sure that part of the problem has been the unfortunate and continuing absence of this blog outlet during my regular work day, the result of that exclusion being that I am now so caught up with my workload that I spend days at the office wondering why the hell I came in to the office. I have tried writing at the office otherwise, but there remains a cackling little hobgoblin of anxiety that prevents me from getting any sort of rhythm or momentum going. I am waiting for somebody important to sneak up behind me and reprimand me for using company time on personal activity. I have been fired once before for poor job performance and the whole experience and its aftermath has never stopped haunting me, its little footprint of paranoia never faded or washed away by the tide.
So I would come home, these past few weeks, and have a desire to write something here, but would force myself to suppress that desire because I believed that the energy belonged to Contraption.
That hasn’t really worked. And unlike some power-mad elected officials who shall otherwise remain nameless, I’m going to try and alter course from what seems to be a losing strategy for success. I’m going to make the effort to be more active in this space again, even if it takes time away from Contraption to do so, because I think it will ultimately be good for Contraption if I do.
This has been helpful, I think. I have some confidence that I’ll be able to end this entry, open up the script again, and find myself more comfortable with the task ahead of me. At the very least, then, I might have made progress against some of my damage.
(Not all of it, mind you. That’s what therapy will be for. I’ve finally made the phone calls to get that started. It’s very frightening.)
Because it’s not a fossil fuel. It’s a renewable resource. It’s just that the machine that purified the waste matter has been a bit on the fritz and the bloke what normally repairs it has been on holiday2.
1 I’ve wondered, for some time now, whether any theaters in Alaska have ever performed the musical Annie. Because the sun does not always come out tomorrow, tomorrow.
2 No, I’m not sure why this metaphorical office environment is British. It somehow seemed more correct, though, than “The guy who repairs it has been on vacation.” My anglophilia chooses the strangest moments to pop in for tea. Strewth.