First post of my blog, oh swell, it happens to be on the first day of 2012. This is not a New Years resolution. It’s an accident. We didn’t do the holidays this year (which is a story I might get into later, or on another blog), and even if we had done the holidays, I know better than to make resolutions. They don’t work. Goals don’t work. Passion doesn’t work. Psychotherapy doesn’t work.
Driving forces do.
My driving force, whether I’ve liked it or not, has been writing. I quit writing all the time for one reason or another, and then I always come back to it for the one reason that always brings me back. It’s a driving force, and I don’t know why. I’ve analyzed it to death, but it keeps coming back to life.
I surrender, I do not resolve anything.
Glad that’s out of the way. Now I can talk about my day of writing.
My days usually start with a quick check in on Facebook, and today was no different, except everybody was full of hope and best wishes for a happy and prosperous 2012. Boy, that just wasn’t sitting well with me. Not this year, and not because I’m feeling down and out, I’m just tired of that same old crap. Hey, things haven’t been so wonderful lately. If they’ve been wonderful for me, or you, overall we’re in a whole bunch of hurt in this world. If that’s not bad enough, we’ve just closed out a year where there was a lot of sound and fury signifying nothing. A lot of people made fools of themselves, there were riots and uproars, but basically nothing significant changed. That usually happens just before all hell breaks loose, and it eventually leads to something pretty good. It’s just not a pleasant journey. All the indicators of big changes to come are in place, and I just didn’t feel like playing the same old game I’ve been playing for a lifetime.
I was in the mood to bitch a little. Thank God I live out in the country and don’t have anybody to bitch to but my journal, and boy, did I ever let it rip. Instead of spending all my energy on manufacturing a positive attitude and a sunny disposition, I spent zero energy doing what comes naturally–taking out the garbage. I did the reality thing. I got honest with how angry I am about so many things and was very specific about what I want to change. Yeah, I get it, gratitude and positivity help a person get through the day, and they might even bring about an overall sense of well-being, but I don’t give a shit. I’m a writer. I have people to create, worlds to invent, action to develop, to be verbs to kill, plots and…oh, all sorts of things that writers do. I’m not going to get down to anything that’s authentic and has any appeal if there’s a roiling anger under my skin. If I’m putting on a happy face and not dealing with the great big frown in my gut. If I don’t like my situation, myself, or my neighbors, what in the world makes me think I can write anything anybody else is going to like.
There has to be a likeability that infuses every element of what a writer writes, and we like the truth, even if that truth is how desperately we want to escape this world into a perfectly crafted fantasy world where everything turns out peachy. You can’t do that if you’re lying to yourself, and if you’re unhappy to the bone but trying to stay positive about it, you’re lying with all your heart in an effort to make that pile of horseshit reveal the pony that may or may not be inside. I’ve never bet on ponies.
I’m not a miserable old curmudgeon, but I did have a moment of clarity when I realized I was coming way too close to an eternal state of bitterness. Readers will pick up on any and all lies I manufacture in trying to talk myself out of that bitterness, and that’s not where I want to go. That’s not where any reader wants to find themselves.
And just because my journal entry this morning was a bitch fest doesn’t mean I’m sour in real life. I’m usually pretty happy with things…when I’m not scared. (I get scared often.) I like Sandra Bullock’s take on things. She says she’s a pessimist, which is why she’s such a happy and resilient person. She expects the worst, so when she’s proven wrong she’s thrilled. Even if the world is only half bad, that means you’re going to be pleased most of the time and thrilled a good deal of the time.
There is no negativity in honesty. Honest. There’s just a whole bunch of hurt that can’t be eased if it’s forever shoved down one’s throat with food, booze, bad marriages, bitter words, hopelessness, and…Oh, geez, I’m starting to depress myself.
So that’s enough. It simply feels good to stop spending so much time pretending there’s a silver lining to every cloud. I think. Probably the best thing to do is to do something, anything, and just not think about it, but writers don’t really have that option. Ours is the business of putting thoughts–about people, settings, conflict, you get the picture–into words so that others can connect with them and find pleasure. Maybe others can do that while lying to themselves, but I’ve found that I can’t. So I didn’t, and the result has been one of my most productive days in a long, long time.
On my honor, and with full honesty, I can say that this is not a New Years post, or a New Years resolution to finally give up the struggle and start fighting to be the writer I am. It’s just an accident that it happened on the first day of 2012.