I have been dealing with sick kids, hubs and self, job applications, interviewing (I got the job! YAY) after being let go from a retail position I fell in love with. I’ve also been fighting depression. Some, I know, is cause by the mess of the past two years. Some is caused by my guilt over messing up and missing personal goals because of life. And some is caused by this circus of an election. And there is a lot on my mind about it. I’ve gone into great length to discuss it with the kids, the hubs, but not here.
I am out of practice, of writing, of expressing myself. Living has become less living and more surviving.
I don’t want to survive, I wanna LIVE!
There is so much on my mind, so much I want to say, and I see other writers saying what I’m thinking and I nod, I silently agree and figure hey, they said it, I don’t have to. My writing is not the powerful political protests put out by my peers. Rather escapism. And that has been looked down on for years. Pshaw, escapeism, worthless. Says the critics and literary snobs who look down their nose at anything less than the ‘Great American Novel’.
And so I go to write and I feel guilty. There are all these IMPORTANT issues that must be addressed and what am I pounding away at? A fallout fan fic, a story about shapeshifting dragons, or a bastard prince who wormed his way into my soul and won’t leave me alone. I step away, load up the ps4 and try not to feel like a worthless hack, after all, isn’t that what they say a fantasy writer is? Just a hack.
My posts are, if I compare them to those I idolize, pathetic. Little bits of updates on the life of a struggling to stay sane person. Nothing like Scalzi, Bear, Hines and Wendig to name a few. Why bother?
But oddly enough, sometime over the past couple days, I started to re-evaluate my opinion on myself (which is a bit crappy, I’ll admit), and my writing. I write fantasy. My stories take place away from here. The struggles of the lives of people strong, weak, inspiring, pathetic, people who face their demons. Some overcome, some fail, and some just hang on my the skin of their teeth. I write people, emotions, relationships. I give the reader a way to escape the bleakness of their own lives by temporarily giving them a chance to live other lives.
There’s a gamer shirt I want, it says ‘I’m a gamer, not because I don’t have a life, but because I choose to have many’ Same goes for being a reader. We live the lives of the characters we read about. Sometimes it’s easier to face the trials and tribulations in a story that facing the seemingly endless, and sometimes hopeless future that is laid out before us. We need to allow ourselves time to disconnect. To step away from the now, the constant and overwhelming influx of information, to escape from here.
It can be healing. Especially if you connect with a character who reminds you of yourself. When you see them triumph, it can give you hope. It can give you something to hold on to.
Writing those safe places, those foxholes of the mind, that’s important.
Escapism is important.
Being allowed to step away, let the troubles of the world fade against the adventure in a story, allows the mind time to rest. And for someone, like myself, whose mind NEVER shuts off, letting it rest in such a way is important. What I write, is important.
I may not be as skilled as other writers, when detailing the political quagmire we find ourselves in. I do not have the spoons to delve deeply into the why of today. But I can give you a place to get away, to rest from the battles we are on the verge of facing.
Elizabeth Bear made a series of tweets this morning, tweets that helped me this one in particular struck a deep chord in me;
Stand up. Hold hands. Sing.
Stand up again.
One more time, stand up.
Stand up. Hold hands. Sing.
Don’t give up.
*takes a deep breath*
If you are feeling suicidal, please, please call the National Suicide Prevention Hotline: 1 800-273-8255 or go to their website suicidepreventionlifeline.org
You are far more loved than you realize, I promise you. And believe it or not, things will get better, no matter how bleak they may seem.
I may have screwed up the order of the chapters, see the comment about sick kids. This weekend I’ll be prepping stuffs and making sure I’m not borking it up too badly. Those of you who are Patrons, thank you so much! I do appreciate it. Those of you who can’t, no worries, I understand. Sometimes even $1.00 is too much in these tight times, I get it. Is all good.
You can check out the patreon over here; https://www.patreon.com/NPhoenix
This is going to be a tough few years, but we can get through it. Stay strong, we’ll make it.
Thank you, my readers, for sticking with me.