~ The Morning Muse #11 ~
Some things have to change for a better state of living for me, personally, as well as for my family. That can best be achieved starting with nutrition and diet. I need a low-carb diet (and really, lowered calories as well). It’s very hard to stay on this course when the people you live with–these enablers!–refuse to either get with the program or stick with it when we embrace it. I may have to simply lone-wolf it myself. That’s so much easier said than done, of course. Hey, I’ve jogged a couple times in the last few weeks. And I didn’t die.
That concept has been on my mind quite a bit this past week. Given how scattered I tend to be mentally/creatively/productively, I think that has to be a condition of great concern and goal. Also:
Yeah, that’s really important and goes along well with consolidation. You could probably add PRODUCTIVITY to that, but that’s a given (can’t achieve efficiency if you’re not even productive). And naturally, those two should lead to:
Yeah, that’s a biggie and the hardest to obtain, which is probably why it’s next to last on this list. Creatively I have the attention span of a squirrel on speed on a grassy knoll full of acorns. My mind never stops generating new ideas, usually ideas that have little to do with the current project on which I’m focused at a given moment. It’s madness.
Also, I tend to be a bit of a seasonal kind of person. I’m usually most creative in Spring and Autumn, so perhaps as Summer wanes into the Fall (and the kids have gone back to school and the days become cold and dark) I’ll be at point where I’ll be able to focus more on whatever the Spring and Summer months have undoubtedly inspired in me creatively.
This relies on and becomes the sum total of the four preceding it. Inherent in this word is the concept of SUCCESS. If I can manage to be successful with any or all of the above, then achievement is the ribbon, the trophy, the medal.
HEALTHIER | CONSOLIDATE | EFFICIENCY | FOCUS | ACHIEVEMENT
Just five words. Just five goals. Sounds easy enough.
If you’re into astrology, casually or seriously (I’m somewhere in the middle, heh), then you may have observed that those born under the Libra sun sign are often described as indecisive, likely due to a constant imbalance/balancing of their scales, so to speak. It’s true, we do tend to take our time to think things through thoroughly (how’s that for alliteration?), and being inherent intellectuals we are loathe to progress toward a conclusion without weighing as many of the facts as possible. But for me it’s not so much about indecision as it is about being a victim of the macro view of things. I see the forest among a single tree. And I view each and every tree in that forest as unique and worthy of inclusion.
So to be clear, my dilemma in what I want to do as a creative human being endowed with certain talents is not one of indecision. It’s simply that I want to DO ALL THE THINGS! At the same time, even, which is impossible.
The rub is, I am merely human—one human. And I have responsibilities and a family, friends, etc. I can’t be the untethered, wayward, free spirit obsessed with producing all the art that and be the multifaceted artist that I want to be. I can’t focus on writing and playing music when I should be focused on writing stories, for instance. So if there’s one great inner turmoil that keeps me up late at night, it’s acknowledging this fact and coping with it.
Of course, the other part of being human is being stubborn and trying to be what you cannot actually be regardless. Trying to do the impossible. Crazy stuff like developing a dozen projects in a short period of time.
I think I lost the plot a while back. Problem is it seems no one bothered to inform me that the movie was over, that the end credits had already rolled and the screen gone forever black.
– Written the morning of April 6, 2016
I’m convinced that the madness of the artist is a real and true thing, indeed. It’s probably nothing short of an affliction, a psychosis kind of disease that’s devoid of a cure. The symptoms of said disease are not overtly noticeable. They are internal, within the mind. An artist suffering from it can smile perfectly and laugh while in the company of others, but inside tells another story. What are the symptoms? I’ll tell you mine. One moment I can be high as a kite on how I feel about my writing or music making. The next moment I’m awash with negative thoughts of being a fraud with no right to call myself a writer or musician.
The psychosis and plight of the writer is: he most wants to write during times when he is most not able to do so, say like while at work or on the road traveling from destination to destination.
It’s madness. And it’s a madness.
For the sake of consistency, if nothing else, I need to fall in and stay in love with my own words and simply endure the fact that, with little-to-no outside validation, I’ll largely be the only one loving those words most of time. Otherwise this on again/off again, touch n’ go, stop n’ go, either/or aspect of my authorship is going to continue and I will not progress. Period. End of story. Pun very pointedly intended.
So, as reported in Workbook 3 the other day, I’ve not been a busy boy, at least not creatively. Other than the reworking of a couple of guitar riffs for my band, there hasn’t really been any progress made on any of the current projects. Listen, even before I went on vacation for a 4-day weekend, I was already having doubts about the prospects of novel writing given current conditions and lifestyle.
However, my writer buddy Nadine Darling (whose hilarious debut novel SHE CAME FROM BEYOND comes out on October 13th), said to me “You need to write this novel!” imploring that I not give up and use whatever tactics and maneuvers I can within my lifestyle to finally accomplish my goal of at least writing and publishing one novel –for fuck’s sake if nothing else.
But I’ll be honest, just last night I had such a serious bout of doubt about my prospects as a novelist — for various reasons — that I honestly considered simply throwing in the towel. The negative emotions even manifested themselves into what became Journal Juice 12.
Yet a half hour or so later that episode passed and I at the very least started to make a pass at revising my old short story “All Things Considered” that is part of Operation: Remember Me? It’s one of those stories of mine that resonates with me so much because it’s about themes and sentiments that are so near and dear to me. I’ve finally decided to updat it for modern times because it was written in 1997 and through the lens of that late 90s era, so I want to modernize it. Given what’s going on in American society right now, I’ve gotta say the story’s premise and themes are very timely. With any luck I’ll have it updated and spit-shined by the start of next week and uploaded to Smashwords for digital archiving and reading.
Trying my best to keep on keepin’ on.
I generally hate my writing work immediately after it goes into beta reads, whether that be a writer friend, an editor, or call me neurotic, but especially when it is officially published for the general reading public.
I’ve been sharing my writing work publicly for nearly twenty years and I still get nervous about feedback and reviews. Even when I know I’ve done a pretty darn good job, there is sometimes that unsure inner voice. I’m guessing that it never fully goes away unless you’re a bestselling author with thousands or millions of adoring fans – and even then. I’ve heard a number of those kinds of authors say they’re still inflicted with this particular disease, this writer’s psychosis or neurosis or whatever it is. But, really, I mean, how could one not feel complete validation if that many approving minds were in agreement of the quality of their work? I suppose it could come down to for whom does one create the work? We all say we do it for ourselves, but were that merely the case, why publish it for the general public? Since I believe most writing to be a performance art, I write to entertain which means I presume there’s going to be an audience for it. Naturally this also extends to my musical work as well.
At any rate, I’ll continue sharing my work here and wherever – warts and all – and take comfort in the fact that my best is yet to come, particularly in my novel work, which was my impetus for becoming a writer in the first, well, second place.