Tuesday, October 26, 2010

What the Hell am I Supposed to be Doing?!!?

I have a confession.   Lately, my mind has been a massive, cluttered, jumbled mess. So much so that I am beginning to feel it in my body with mystery aches and pains coupled with the familiarity of not sleeping. When I slow down and try to have a peaceful meditative moment, my brain feels like a brick, with its edges rubbing against the inside of my head.  I need a retreat.  Somewhere clean and orderly with scents of vanilla  and eucalyptus where there are no sounds of little voices or knocks at the door.  A place that has a deep smooth bathtub with no nemo or barbie toys to be seen.  That's what I need.

Here's the deal, I have not written anything in weeks, with the exception of my blogs.  I have not even been doing my "pages" in the morning which help me remain grounded and inspired throughout the day. The funny thing, I know that there is an immature internal temper tantrum happening.  My inner self is saying, " I don't wanna." because things are not really going my way.  It's like when I am really angry at my son - my middle man.  He sometimes goes crazy and just screams like a mad man.  I hate it.  If I am not on my toes,  we end up in a ridiculous power struggle and you know what they say, once you enter in a power struggle with your kid, you have already lost the battle.  Sometimes in the midst of his cryings, he will look up at me with those huge tears and say, "Mommy, if you sing to me I will feel better."

Sounds sweet right?  Well it's not, and I "don't wanna", especially after he has just been screaming at the top of his lungs, or repeating the same thing over and over and over again.  The thing is, my son knows that once I have him in my lap and start to sing, then I will calm down and not be so angry.  That's how I feel about writing. I don't want to do my pages because I know it will calm me down when what I want is to be mad at life.  Being mad at life is so much easier these days than actually deciding what to do with my life.  Which leads me to my problem - what the hell I am supposed to be doing?!

My gut is telling me it is time to buckle down and get to some serious long format writing.  Initially, I was confident that my memoir project would be the best place to start.  Now, I am not so sure.  I started a novel several years ago which is still taking up creative residence in this already cluttered mind of mine.  All of a sudden I have been thinking a great deal about the characters, the plot, the tone - everything.  I can see the landscape of my novel, the characters moving about.  I can even see what they are wearing and how they function in the little world I created years ago.  This sudden development is throwing a wrench in my plans.  I didn't want to work on my novel.  I didn't want to go back to fiction.  I have not written fiction since well before my pregnancy with Noelle.  The funny thing is, prior to that experience,  all I considered myself to be was a novelist.  My life has just taken such a turn...and I feel strongly about writing my experience. Or am I avoiding something? 

Do I work on the novel that has been trapped in my mind for years?  Do I start the memoir project which will require research and dredging up the past? I also have a online store to run and a continuing job search, not to mention my children and husband. I know myself - if I write this novel I will become hyper-focused and obsessed...can I afford to do that right now?  Ugh! I know...I know - I should just shut-up, pack up the temper tantrum and just get to work!

11 comments:

  1. You got it, baby. Those last words could have been meant for me. When I'm getting my writing in, I feel good, grounded (and stretched...) but the less I do, the less I want to. It's kinda like exercise that way, darn it!

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  2. I can relate. But really, you need to get back to writing if you want to stay sane. Why don't you do the nanowrimo? That's a great exercise in shutting down your inner critic.

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  4. Hey girl!!! I totally feel your pain. Sometimes I know it's the very thing I don't want to do that I NEED to do. Sounds to me like that novel is calling your name. Give it a day's work and see where it goes, maybe? Then decide whether it's worth returning to right now. I'd love to see a novel published by you!!!! You have such a way of making stories come alive.

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  5. i can totally relate too. I think what happens is that our brains get so clouded with everything (blog posts, doctor's appointments, etc.) that it's hard to focus on the one thing that makes us happy. I'm with Naomi - I would LOVE to read that book. If that means the blog goes to the back burner for a while, so be it. We'll still be here :-)

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  6. Hey guys,

    For some reason I couldn't make comments! I knew you all would relate.

    @Peryl - why do I put myself through by not writing! Its so crazy.

    @Mayra - immediately after I read your comment my sister-in-law called to ask if I would do Nanowrimo! It's a sign. So I signed up.

    @Organic - true - it's the novel - the fiction that is calling me right at this time.

    @trydefyinggravity - i think we all can relate! Thanks for the support and encouragement.

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  7. CJ, I'm in the same place, and I heave learned that when I'm not doing what I need to be doing, I'm not a really good mom-giver. I don't wanna either! Blogging is taking up so much of my time that I procrastinate in my teaching stuff as well, which is unlike me. I have a slew of papers to grade and a few books I want and should be working on, but nah! I watch TV instead, gnawing at my fingernails. You're not alone. I decided to put myself on a schedule; I do all my blogging stuff and schedule it ahead of time on Saturday nights, and then the rest of the week, I write. Not sure about the NanoWrimo thing, though. Let me know how that goes.Good luck with it all, though. We're behind you.

    Marina at http://marinagraphy.com

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  8. my son does the same thing to me with the "can you sing to me mommy?"
    i love him, but sometimes he makes me nuts!

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  9. Marina - kindred spirits! I have so much "other" stuff that I don't ever seem to get around to. I am the type of person who abosultely needs to stick to routine and schedule...unfortnately - I have not gotten 'round to that either!
    Nanowrimo by the way - is going well.

    CJ

    CJ

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  10. Samantha - I love it and hate it all at the smae time...he is so sweet and infuriating and I know he feels the same as me.

    I love it that they want to hear thier mommies voices.

    CJ

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  11. It's weird and, I suppose, comforting to hear so many people say they can relate to this. Because all I could think when I was reading this was, "Here we go again, CJ. . ." I swear, we are so alike in so many ways. It's just freaky.

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