All posts tagged Writing

  • For Your Reading Pleasure

    I doubt this is much of a revelation for anyone, but I’ve been neglecting this space. Badly. And badly is perhaps the largest understatement I’ve made all year. It’s been over a year. I’m too embarrassed to actually check, and I’m not going to put in some note for me to fix this post later with a more accurate length of time.

    So what happened?

    Well, to be blunt, I got a Job. A real, grownup big person job with health insurance and a pension and all the other things that make a job a Job. And having that Job made me want to die.

    We aren’t supposed to talk about that. I can hear my mother already hissing into my ear about how You can’t say that on the internet! What if you need some other Job in the future? What if they reeeaaad what you said? Which, I suppose that could happen. But does it really matter?

    I had a Job. And having that Job made me want to die. That is not an understatement, nor is it hyperbole. The Job that I had seriously made me consider taking my own life. It made me feel trapped and discouraged and like the person I am didn’t matter.

    I’m doubly not supposed to say that because that Job was teaching. Like, little kids. Like, this is how you multiply numbers together and why you might want to read for pleasure. I’m triply not supposed to say that because, despite everything, I like teaching. I might even want to do it again someday.

    But my teaching Job made me want to die.

    I have struggled with depression for more years than someone who is only 28 should. I don’t remember a time when I didn’t struggle. Suicidal ideation is as novel to me as eating cereal for breakfast.

    What if they reeeaaad what you said?

    Yes, what if they read what I said. What if someone finds out that I struggle with depression. That I have pondered the various ways I could end my life, both in absurdly creative manners and in ones so cliche they’re boring. What if they read what I said and realize I dare want to be around children. Around people. Around life.

    To which I say: that’s exactly the fucking problem.

    We live in the era of social media. We are to curate our lives into this rosy, perfect package. We project our best selves. We are eternally successful and happy and doing exactly what we’re meant to do.

    But what happens when you suddenly find yourself not living your best life? It’s not enough to curl under the blankets because it is just too much to get out of bed. You cannot just hide. You must disappear.

    And so I did.

    I carefully stopped talking about myself anywhere. I neglected this blog. I let my business venture die. I stopped responding to email. I ceased updating Facebook. If anyone asked, I said I was happier living my life than documenting. Never mind that I was barely breathing, let alone living.

    Saying ‘I am depressed’ is the unspeakable secret. I’m not living the best life. I’m not doing okay. It’s not so much that I want to die, I just wish I didn’t exist.

    What if they reeeaaad what you said?

    I think being a grownup with an important Job is the loneliest I have ever felt. It brought me the furthest I have ever been from myself. The depression that settled over me was unlike the depression I have come to call ‘normal life.’ It sucked every ounce of desire from my body. I no longer cared I hated my life. I no longer cared the artist in me was choking. I no longer cared to be seen. I made myself smaller. I stripped away everything, including the thing that has always been my greatest asset: my voice.

    And fuck that.

    What if they reeeaaad what you said?

    Fuck all of this bullshit. I don’t want to be silent anymore. I don’t want to sit here, biting my fingernails, worrying about what if someone reads something I wrote.

    Isn’t that the whole point? Isn’t that the whole goddamn point?

    In case you’re wondering, I feel a lot better now. Now that my Job is not my job. I am slowly finding my way back to a place where I can confidently say my name and say I am a writer.

    Mom, you don’t understand. I am not ashamed of myself anymore. I want them to read what I said.

  • Writing Dot-to-Dot

    Every once in awhile, we stumble across something and it’s like meeting an old friend. These are things that we used to do or enjoy, but have somehow forgotten completely about them. And, at least if you’re me, you then feel like a complete and total idiot for being such a tool. Eh, it happens.

    This happens to me a couple times a year. I have hereditary forgetfulness passed on to me from my Absent-Minded Professor father. It happened again to me last week. What was interesting was that it involved writing, so it’s pretty embarrassing. You know, the whole being a writer thing makes forgetting something about writing a pretty horrific thing to admit. But I did.

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  • Ripping the Bandaid Off

    Oh dear. I’ve done it again. I’ve become neglectful of ye olde blog. When that happens, I sometimes have trouble getting back into it because the guilt and fear are just overwhelming. Well, suck it up, Buttercup. Time to get over yourself and rip that bandaid off.

    So here we are. I’ve been doing lots of things to avoid writing here, and sometimes to avoid writing. But, not all the time. Did I mention I have +16,000 new words since I fell off the wagon? I didn’t? Oh, well I do. I’ve instituted a few changes in how I keep track of writing, but I’ll write about that some other time. But they’re working. And I’m happy.

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  • Notes from the Sofa

    I managed to rouse up enough decent-feelings to get the novella finished and back to my editor. I finally settled on the point in which to break for novella #2. Which means Three Days of Night is still chugging along, if not slightly behind the schedule I was hoping for. I’m still struggling to come to terms with this whole not-temporary illness aspect and the idea that some days I just really might not be capable to productive writing. Or any writing.

    One thing I have learned is that if I feel up for writing, it doesn’t matter what time it is. That’s what I need to do. Definitely saw 3am this morning, which I haven’t seen in a long time. But I have a solid 700 words to show for it. Not bad since I literally spent the entire day on the couch trying not to pass out with a migraine and general fatigue.

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  • How’s Them Plans Going: A Schedule

    Soooo, remember when I came up with the absolutely ludicrous plan to publish 18 things in 18 months? It’s been a couple weeks, so I figured it was time to check in and report back on my findings or doings or whatever. Maybe even post a schedule!

    In that plan, I laid out where I wanted novels, short stories, and novellas to hit. I gave myself two freebies because I knew I would end up having a short story collection after awhile, and my novella trilogy has always had the plan to become an omnibus. So I guess that may be considered cheating, but even if we go with 16 publications in 18 months, that’s still a lot.

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  • Full-Time Writer You Say?

    I posted a countdown the other day about my upcoming adventures. I left something very big and very important off that countdown. See, tomorrow is  June 3rd. It’s the last day of school. Normally that’s not a big deal, because normally I would go home after work and start right away the next day a full-time summer job. No breaks. No time off.

    This year? That’s not happening. I’m going home after work and the next day? I’m staying home. I’m staying home and I’m writing. And I’m doing that the next day, and also the day after that. I somehow convinced my entire family and my friends to support me as I give full-time writing a go.

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  • You Need a Plan

    I’m a big fan of outlines. Which is a little strange, because I really love flying by the seat of my pants. And as I spoke about earlier, going off the plan is really easy for me. It’s sort of my default mode.

    Which is why I like outlines. They tell me where I am going and roughly where I hope to end up. If I get too far off track, all I have to do is look at my outline, point my compass in that direction, and usually it turns out okay. So far, I haven’t ended up being eaten by bears in the wilderness.

    But I’m not here to talk about outlines today. Whoops. Just sitting here, pulling the tablecloth out from all the dishes. Don’t mind me. Nope, I’m here to talk about plans. As in, career plans.

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  • Ladies and Gentlmen, The Novella is Drafted

    Some times you blink, and suddenly it’s May and it’s been, like, two weeks since you’ve posted in your blog. Sometimes you have good reasons, and sometimes you don’t. What I am not doing is letting the guilt prevent me from posting again.

    Since I last posted a lot of things have happened. The Russian’s sister came for a visit from Japan. May arrived. I started out with a new writing group. My sister came for a visit from Kenya. And I finished the first draft of my novella. Yes, you heard me. Three Days of Night is in the can. First draft, anyway.

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  • In Which Wren Talks About Priorities and Choices

    Original photo by Tony Unruh

    There comes a time in everyone’s life when you realize you need to make priorities. This often comes with a certain amount if humiliation, because you generally have to admit that your priorities are all screwed up. At least that was true for me.

    I’ve mentioned the Year of No Habits and the Year of Shame before. I don’t think I’m quite ready to really talk about them in depth yet, but we’ll get there. We always do.

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  • Excerpts! Excerpts! Get Em While They’re Hot

    So I pulled out my editing chainsaw the other day. It’s not unusual for me to finish the beginning of a sci-fi story and then immediately edit it before going on with the rest. What can I say? I’m a believer in strong beginnings.

    Also, I promised excerpts. So I thought it’d be interesting to see my first two paragraphs of Draft 1 and Draft 1.1 side-by-side. I always find revisions and rewrites to be interesting beasts when the drafts belong to someone else. They give me a sense of who someone is and what their process looks like as a writer. Hopefully mine skews more towards ‘vaguely intelligent’ vs ‘complete and total idiot.’

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