I hate being a tortured artist.
When I was in high school and writing my first crude attempts at poetry, my school’s literary ‘zine was always full of typical teenage doggerel — awful, rhyming crap, yes, but specifically depressing, angsty whiny rhyming crap. The quality of my writing might not have been much better in that era, but there was one thing I was sure of — they’d be happier than the rest.
In general, my art seems to flow most freely during the good times in my life. I’ve begun learning to keep stringing words together through the harder times, but I am not one of those creators whose work is fueled by despair or depression. I function best when I am happy, getting laid frequently, and not worried about basic needs of survival (or some of the basic comforts as well).
Right now life is great. Though my finances remain extremely tight, I’m slowly finding more ways to make money with my writing. My muse has been rewarding me with a lot of words, almost whenever I need them. I’ve been blogging here almost every day since late last year. I have a major freelance project for which I write approximately 8000 words per week, along with a number of smaller freelance projects as well as professional copy-editing. In my personal life I have wonderful lovers, friends I look forward to seeing, and a lot that gives me pleasure. My tribe, the local Burn community, has been consistently recognizing the hard work I am doing as Web Content Lead for burningflipside.com.
And yet my moods have been volatile. I start out my day irritable, tiny set backs make me angry. Some days I’ve been downright angsty. I’ve caught myself wondering if I needed to go into therapy or on medication, because why should I be like this when life is so good?
But the other day during some intense self-analysis I had some insight — despite all the words I’m writing, my muse is incredibly restless. I start out my day irritable until I get some writing done and then I still feel her clawing around the inside of my brain, demanding I do more. More words. Sometimes it’s all I can do to focus on the beautiful people I’m surrounded with until I can get back to the page to make more sentences.
I feel a little better now that I know I feel more confident I am not going crazy, nor do I think I am facing another round of depression. The other night I went to dinner with the three lovers I see most often. I told them about what I think is happening inside my head and felt strong support from all of them.
I think what I really need is to devote time and energy back into my fiction, which is what drove me toward writing in the first place. I’ve got a few projects in the works, none of which I feel like talking about here right now. I will say this though — I want 2011 to be the year I finally finish Honeycutt Tales.
We’ll see what the next few months bring. I hope great things, or at least a lot of words. And since my lovers can accept it, I’ll work to accept my own inner tortured artist and its demands that I write write write.