As dreary and miserable as yesterday was, today was that much brighter. It seems that for quite some time a heavy cloud has been hanging over not only my own mood and thoughts, but just about everyone I spend time with on a daily basis. One of the most cheerful people I've ever met (and also one of the most secretly dark and twisty ones, yipee!) has been absolutely downright miserable lately. Not eating, not sleeping miserable. Another person I know is going through some nasty ugly stuff in a nasty ugly divorce. There has been enough deaths, enough illness, and enough sadness in people's lives to last an entire year, all crammed up into just a few short weeks. While I have not been struck with anything so terribly serious as all that (knock on wood), my mood lately has been incredibly dark and frustrated.
I was feeling very resentful towards anything that was keeping me from writing. Work inside and outside of the house, people around me... even hating myself for the times when I didn't get any writing done at all. It's been difficult for me while I try to find a balance between what needs to be done, what has to be done, and what I feel I want to be doing. It's great when these things coincide. It's really, really lousy when they don't.
In my dream world, I am a successful writer who spends her days at the computer writing at the very minimum 4-10 pages per day. I have an editor who gives me deadlines; an agent who finds me work; a publicist who gets me interviews; and a fabulous assistant who keeps my life perfectly organized, mails things for me, does my laundry, makes me lunch, and keeps me motivated on a daily basis so that I can freely give myself up to my Muse whenever she decides to pay a visit.
My reality, however, is filled with mountains of dirty laundry that I can never ever seem to get under control, a kitchen that I can only barely maintain some semblance of order in, a living room filled with sawdust and drywall dust, a giant stack of cushions, an upturned sectional, and a project that has been underway for a month of weekends. The entire house is now covered in a patina of dust that I fear will take years of vacuuming to get rid of completely.
I hope that one day, I can find some kind of balance between these two worlds. I understand that even though I may be a published writer one day, there are only a very, very few people who are able to maintain a serious career as a writer and have all the things I dream about having for myself. I'm absolutely certain that it will not be easy, and will take an unbelievable amount of hard work and perseverance, but I'm up for it. I don't expect the ideal, dream world to be my reality, but a life filled with order and a balance of work and play would be something I would consider a complete success.
Today was one of the first days that the cloud seems to have dissipated. My mood, and everyone else's around me today seemed much brighter and much more cheerful. I enjoyed a great lunch with some great friends, and came home ready to sit down and write.
Part of being a healthy, sane human being is being able to set reasonable goals and achieve them to attain self-worth. Once upon a time, I was convinced I was going to be a big huge movie star and stand on the stage at the Oscars holding that golden statue, crying and thanking my mom for supporting me all these years. I experienced a glimpse of Hollywood and realized just how ugly and selfish it all is. I'm pretty sure I don't really belong in that world.
Since then, I have fallen in love with writing. I think part of my fascination with the film world was that movies are simply living stories. The basis of a good film is a good script, and a good writer; someone who can tell a story in a clear and concise manner. I hope that this is something I am able to do. Writing fiction gives me the elbow room to expand the thoughts and feelings of the characters more than a screenplay would. So much of a screenplay has to be left open for interpretation by the Director and the rest of a film crew.
Finding out what kind of writing fits you best is one of the most important steps you can take as a writer. Some people are poets, some like non-fiction, others like to create new places and things that exist only on the page in front of them. I'm a fiction girl. I've met many, many characters over the years that I've been writing. I've thought of many scenes and written out many chapters. The current project I'm working on is the first time I've ever had a complete story in my head at the same time. It's something I feel I can tackle as a whole. Other projects have been only scenes or only character studies. This is all of that and more.
As much writing as I've done, I have yet to truly finish something; to write a story from Once upon a time all the way through to The END. I hope that this will be the one I can see through from beginning to end. It's why I've started the Facebook page, the Twitter, and begun in earnest on this blog. I'm afraid that keeping it all to myself will only hold me back. I need the encouragement of everyone around me to give me that extra push to see this to the finish line. For all those people who have read bits and pieces of my work and said "I want more!": Thanks. It's the best kind of compliment I could ever hope for. And thanks to those who bug me every day by asking "Where's the rest?"
Well, it's coming.... it's coming....