The Evening Muse 7 | A Writer’s Plight

~ This is #TheEveningMuse on #ruckology ~ *Written late last week when I was feeling a bit overwhelmed.

The irony, the frustration is this: when you’re young with less responsibilities and obligations taxing your free time, you’re not quite skilled enough to be the writer you will eventually become as a seasoned 30-something and beyond. But by the time you hit those 30s and 40s years, you’re consistently working a full-time job to support and maintain the family and life you’ve acquired over the years while also trying to actually live and enjoy that life.

You see, that’s the part they don’t tell you about, the fact that to write well and to write often, you have to chain yourself to your desk and do a whole lot less actual living. That’s the other irony: you should absolutely live and have experiences to enrich your writing – yet when are you going to actually have the time to do that living while working a full-time job and also writing full-time, or more realistically, part-time? I suppose we can circumvent our actually gaining life experience directly by doing a lot of reading and living vicariously through books, right? And that’s the thing about reading as well, to do that often enough you essentially have to cut yourself off from interacting with the world, while holed up hermitically on a lazy-boy in a quiet room, devoid of real-world happenings. Devoid of interpersonal relationships. Devoid of . . . people.

The way I’m wired, that’s the only way I can read and write consistently, I have to be free of all distractions and interruptions. Urges and responsibilities. I hate that my muse is easily distracted by the frequent disruptions of life. There just seems to be no co-habitable option between the two there.  I mean, how can I continue to pursue my first love of making and playing music with my band, while simultaneously continuing to purse some kind of – hell, I can’t really call it a career can I? – vocation in writing fiction?

Sure, you could probably say “Well, if you spent less time writing nonfiction/blogging, you could spend that time writing fiction,” and I suppose you’d be fairly correct in that assessment. Yet, part of being a writer is to cognitively process and express oneself through any kind of writing on a regular basis, which is why years ago I devoted myself to documenting, editorializing and journalizing my life, interests and observations via this blog (as well as actual journalism elsewhere). If I were to eliminate my periodical writing here, I don’t know that I’d alternatively be getting more creative writing done given the situation, the aspects of life I described above.

I don’t know. It’s clearly a Catch-22, my friends. And I don’t mean to share this in any way to dissuade or discourage any of my fellow writers here. I envy your abilities to rock the writing life despite whatever odds and challenges you face. You inspire me and I envy you.

I just need to find a way to filter out and turn off the extraneous things in life that present the roadblock I’m constantly encountering. Does that mean I live a little less? Cut off my social life? Eliminate my entertainment? Abandon my first love, music? Sacrifice more family time?

The struggle is real. And this is my plight.


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