One Year, One Goal…
I will keep this blog for one year, May 20, 2014 to May 20, 2015. My goal, at the end of that year, is (1) to have FINISHED at least one of my many existing, but incomplete, fiction writings (or possibly something new); and (2) to be actively engaged in some concrete step in the process of publishing the completed piece(s).
At 47, I have been freelance editing/writing for the last year (Plan B, v2), after more than 12 years of working in a similar capacity for a major medical university (Plan B, v1). I enjoy the work sometimes and do it well enough, but it’s felt for a long time like it’s time to put a fork in it (not that I can, yet, but I do have just the fork and am careful never to be too far from it).
My dream has always been to be a successful (fiction) writer, to connect and share my imagination with others through story. Part of my reason for switching from my office job to freelancing, in fact, was to have more time to pursue my own writing. But I’ve made little progress. It’s not that I don’t write because I do, often: it’s just that I haven’t finished anything —– any of my fiction writings —– in at least 20 years.
Ever since seeing Lars von Trier’s “Melancholia” (guaranteed to give most viewers a doom-and-gloom hangover that lasts for days if not weeks), I can compare my feelings about writing, about myself as a writer, with a particular image from the film (above). Actually, I don’t understand the scene in the context of the movie, even after reading about it. The character didn’t seem (to me) to be striving toward anything, and yet this picture seems to suggest something akin to the opposite — and that she feels restrained, held-back, tangled up in something and unable to move forward. But for me, it works perfectly, only forget the bridal gown and imagine those also-tangled-up-looking woods teeming with my half-rendered characters, wanting to be freed, their stories told.
So, what’s got me all tangled up? I’m not 100% sure, but most indications point toward a whole host of fears/doubts about my ability (20 years can do that to a person), plenty of distinctly “nonconstructive” habits (great distractions, also fertile ground for excuses), and maybe more than a touch of ADHD — a diagnosis I’ve resisted for years and wasn’t sure I’d even mention because I don’t intend to write much about it here. In fact, I seriously hope “the problem,” whatever it is exactly, does NOT become the focus of the blog.
The fact is, I don’t know what exactly I’ll be writing about here, though I’m sure I won’t be simply documenting the project, the whole year, day by day. I couldn’t/wouldn’t do that. I have never seriously journaled or kept a proper diary (feel an aversion to it, in fact), nor have I been a faithful keeper of logs/records or note taker. I also don’t enjoy writing letters about things that are actually going on. So I’ve just decided to just let this blog be whatever it needs to be, write whatever I feel the need to write about, to move me forward in making my mid-life miracle happen. It may (or may not) make good reading for others, but my hope is that it will lead to just that.