Ripples in the space-time fabric of the mind.
Tsunamis, small and psychic. Little disruptions in the energy field.
The daily emotional flux of a writer’s head has a billion causes. And just as many interpretations of those causes. The particular state of flux that I’ve been dealing with, lately, has a lot to do with what’s been going on in my nonfiction life: The hunt for a job.
Job interviews are taxing. Sending out cover letters, same thing. The ego-gymnastics and forced extroversion that these efforts require is not the natural State of Me.
One might argue that the act of writing a daily blog paints that notion as a lie. Or a delusion. Or denial. But the truth is, I’m not all that delighted by the prospect of talking about myself for any extended period—especially not in the self-aggrandizing way that the competitive job market requires.
I’m not a hot-house flower, particularly, but interviews—especially the in-person ones—are tiring. Recovering from one is like recovering from an illness. The necessary me-me-me energy disrupts the quiet, steady reflection, the routines of introversion, that are the substance of my personal oxygen. The timing of living is thrown off.
One might ask, then, why write if not for the attention? Why put ones’ self to paper in the most disclosing, revealing, intimate way—even in fiction—if not for the eyes of others?
Again, we’re talking about the demands of commerce rather than the writing of fiction, but either way, we’re treading that fine line between contradiction and truth.
Do I love it when a word like “exquisite” is used to describe my writing? Do I love it when my ex-Creative Director tells the person to whom he recommended me for a successfully-completed job, “I told you she’d crush it.” Do I love it when a new friend or an old one is swept away by what I do? The answer is an unequivocal yes.
And that’s the difference. Writing is the construct of me, not the me itself. I am not selling myself in the collections of words, instead I am letting the writing be the proof of who I am.
Writing is an act of hope, selling is not. Fiction is an offering of one’s truest self behind a semi-transparent mask. And when we present ourselves through a character in the created world, is it really “all about me” at all?
The space-time ripples of the head are beginning to calm themselves. The ideas are coming back slowly. The routines of writing are gradually finding their way back to me between the demands of the freelance work I’m grateful to have, and the joy and anticipation of “what comes next?” are coming with them.
The words. Shy children in a quiet room. Not about me. About them.