27 March 2020

Writing at the End of the World

Hobbit Desk | The hobbit, Hobbit house, Writing space
I tried to find a post from earlier years to copy and paste here, as it sometimes seems I've been repeating myself for a decade or so now.

We are on lockdown here and it could be worse, and yet it could be a deal better. There are schedules and rolls of toilet paper and many foodstuffs and time spent outside in good, pollenated weather. But the uncertainty of the time is quite unsettling. And yet I still hoped it would make for calm times in which to get some writing done. That hope is, as yet, rather fruitless.

On the one hand I have neglected my own advice, that being to keep up one's writing habit as much as possible. With no flourishing of ideas or prospects on the horizon, conjoined with the general difficulties and preoccupations of this middle class life, I haven't done much writing in the last year or so. So when I sit down to perhaps reinvigorate an old podcast or crack away at a HOMES sequel there is little enough energy to get more than a few words out.

And yet this cannot be simply attributed to atrophy. There is much going on to distract me. Besides vague anxieties, times being what they are, I'm going through a rather delicate season of intense therapy. All my guards have been stripped away and so slipping into despondency is a regular habit. As such, at the behest of my counselor and good conscience, I'm cutting myself a fair deal of slack. Even though I know exactly where the HOMES sequel needs to go, if I can't get the words out I'm not going to force it too much.

From that forward on lies a trap of my own making. "You're a writer, man! Write through the pain!" Such false narratives of identity can be helpful in motivating sometimes, but I am choosing to keep them at arms' length out of care for myself.

So like the weight lifter who's taken a year off, I must go back to less-heavy lifting. Hopefully that means this blog will see some life as I build up some tolerance to the lactic acid being produced by my writing muscles. LOTRO remains ever-present and there are some things there worth putting to page, even simply from a game design standpoint. Then, depending on how long this damn situation endures, maybe I can get back in the habit of lifting heavy things like novels and games.

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