Friday, July 09, 2010

Giving myself permission to muddle

This year has been a beaut. Every time I think it can't get any worse, somehow, some way, it does. I've had Get-Back-Jack days, but I swear, since last fall, this has been a Get-Back-Jack year.

I just want something, some tiny little infinitesimal thing, to go RIGHT.

I won't go into the gory details, save that it's bad, and it's life-altering, but it is, ultimately, survivable.

Right now, I'm concentrating on the survivable part. If I squint really, really hard, I can see light at the end of the tunnel, and I'm praying it's not a bear with a flashlight.

But enough about the specifics of my muddle. We all have muddles. They jump out and grab us when we least expect it, when we're the least ready for it -- or so it seems.

I want to talk about how our muddles relate to our writing. Some people use their writing during a muddle as an escape mechanism, an anesthetic. They wall themselves off and write like crazy, churning out beautiful, perfect worlds that they have control over, by gum.

Not me. When I'm in the middle of a muddle, it saps my energy. It saps my creativity. I'm like that lizard that starts out at sunrise at Rock A, and he calls it a successful day if he makes to Rock B by sunset.

A year ago, I would have beaten myself up about not being able to face my current editing project. I'd tell myself that I'm falling behind on my goals. I'd tell myself that you have to force yourself on and not wait on The Muse to come teetering in on her stilettos with her feather boa trailing behind her.

But that was before I'd experienced a Get-Back-Jack Year. I understand the importance of being professional, of not missing deadlines, of pushing on when other people's jobs depend on me.

This time my muddle doesn't coincide with a deadline. And I'm giving myself permission, however hard or self-indulgent it seems to me, to muddle through. And you know what else? I'm giving you, should you need it, that same permission.


Kelly Breakey said...

Everybody has their muddles, but I think the key to getting through it is having the people you can call for the huddle.

I hope it gets better for you soon, I am keeping my fingers crossed.

Donna Hosie said...

Real life can be a bitch, but it happens to everyone at some point. You'll come through this muddle even stronger. After all, what is a writer without life experiences, good and bad?

Piedmont Writer said...

I know it's trite to say, but sometimes these things, these 'muddles' happen for a reason. Good or bad. You'll come out of it. You're a strong southern woman and we all know you'll come through this in a blaze of glory. Keep on swimming, or treading water. I have faith in you.

Tawna Fenske said...

You definitely deserve to cut yourself a break right now as you deal with the tough stuff life's been handing you lately. It's impossible to be motivated & creative when all your energy is drawn in another direction, so good for you for recognizing that and giving yourself a little grace.

Hang in there, and call me anytime, darlin!


out of the wordwork said...

Keep the faith, my friend. You will get through this and remember - you've got a lot of support. If you need to send out a flare we'll be there.

Patty Blount said...

I've been missing you and I'm sorry you're having such a bad year. Please remember you're not alone; there's a whole army of twitter pals alone who'd give you a shoulder to lean on and an ear to vent to, should you wish.

You're in my prayers.

Linda G. said...

I'm so sorry you're having a tough time of it. Sometimes a real life muddle takes all of our concentration, and you shouldn't feel at all bad about giving the muddle its due. Take care. *hugs*

Elizabeth Flora Ross said...

Writing got me through one of the biggest muddle periods of my life. I wrote about it, and in doing so released all the bad stuff. And, my book touched others and I helped them get through their muddle, too.

I'm so sorry you are having a difficult time. Hang in there, and I hope things turn around for you soon!