I am miserable. I am feeling creatively blocked. I hate everything I write. I feel worthless. I feel aimless. I just want to sleep and sleep and sleep. And eat. Everytime I feel better, I veer off the elevated road into a muddy putrid foul ditch.
Out of curiosity, I looked up blog posts in March/April in previous years. Oh. I am miserable EVERY March and April. In this exact, anxious and miserable and self berating way.
I looked up previous May posts. I become happy again.
Maybe I should just take a vacation from my fiction for a month (apparently my Muse goes on vacation then, too). Staring at the screen and feeling like a failure and wanting to cry out of pure frustration is a real drag.
Update: right after I wrote this post, a friend of mine emailed me a nytimes opinion piece by David Brooks on Sandra Bullock. In his article, the writer begins with the following description and question:
Two things happened to Sandra Bullock this month. First, she won an Academy Award for best actress. Then came the news reports claiming that her husband is an adulterous jerk. So the philosophic question of the day is: Would you take that as a deal? Would you exchange a tremendous professional triumph for a severe personal blow?
My answer: no. No matter how shitty my writing goes, I wouldn’t trade my marriage in. Long long ago I asked for one thing out of life: marital happiness. Long ago, I prioritized my marriage above my writing. The happiness and support from my marriage is the platform for my life, one that if erased, would devastate me more than writing failure.
Of course, I’m still miserable about my writing.
I’ve been thinking of a way to provide an update/insight into how my novel revision is going but there are no inspiring words to describe. In my head, the psychological video, if I were to play it for you on an uneven stucco wall, entails a lot of exhausted thrashing in lukewarm water. Not pretty, not productive, not comfortable. Not even organized or strategic.
A lot of panic and confusion. All the methodic/rhythmic progress I made on completing the first draft feels like a dream–was that me? Was that *this* novel? But I still love my novel and sit with that discomfort, because it’s worth it.
Some of my struggles stem from the fact that this has been a challenging teaching semester. A student who writes papers reminiscent of KKK philosophies, another student who plagiarized, and another who said made suicidal comments. An overenrolled class. TAs to train/mentor.
I like it, I even love it–but it’s as time consuming and heartbreaking and exhausting as it is inspiring. So, I haven’t had much time for this novel, either. I haven’t had much psychic space. I haven’t been very joyful in the last couple of months. In recent weeks, I have walked into my classroom with a positive attitude and outlook, and changed the dynamics within, so that we now have a strong and positive classroom community.
But I leave class exhausted this semester. Any energy I’ve mustered up is deposited into my students. I guess in life, I too, am thrashing in the water.
It’s March–springtime allergies are making me feel miserable; but my spring break is coming up, too–so I find myself preparing for a good writing week, somehow. That means doing an inventory on what I need to make psychic space and to feed my imagination for that week. Rest, exercise, good food.
I haven’t been getting enough sleep. I have slacked off on exercise this semester. And I certainly have not been eating healthy. Time to change all that.