When I decided to take my blogging break low this many months ago (the break which is officially over, now) I didn’t know I would blink and find myself pregnant about a minute later. At the time, I simply thought I was completely burned out on writing and needed time to focus on my job, my husband, my house, my life – and oh, I did need that time, but maybe the subconscious or the body or both knew that shortly after my announced my break I would enter a fugue state so entirely unlike anything else I have experienced that napping, watching summer reruns and avoiding puking would basically take up any spare time I had.
During this time, I did find myself thinking about writing, and why I was feeling so frustrated with it, and this is the conclusion I came to: I miss the old – fashionedness of the artistic life. As a writer and as a former actress who plays around occasionally with returning to theater in some form, I was finding myself disheartened and exhausted by all of the new expectations suddenly placed on the forms. Writers constantly promoting the possibility of their books on facebook and twitter, the idea and conversations about the traditional way of publishing going by the wayside, books written specifically for e-book – just, ugh! I like the way things used to be done! I want to write a book, maybe ask a few trusted readers for feedback, and then I want to print it out with a cover letter and mail it to agents based on books they’ve already published and not how often their blog is retweeted, and then start on the next book. I do not want to try searching for publication, readers, etc through social media. And I want to see real plays, with beginning, middles, and ends! No more one-person shows with too many props! I want to see plays by Tracy Letts, Noel Coward, Sam Shepherd!
A couple of weeks ago, I made a decision. I missed writing – that much I know. And I do not want to go the next six months without writing because I imagine when the baby arrives it will be that much harder to work it into my daily routine. But at this point in my life it’s unlikely I’m going to fully support my family with a writing career alone, and given that, if I’m doing it purely for my own enjoyment, I can write however I want! No more annoying twitter conversations! No more worrying about the appeal of my facebook page! I can return to the way I began writing way back in sixth grade – just me, some paper and pens and my laptop, and my ideas (and my blog, of course). And so that’s what I am going to do – return to the reasons that first ignited my pure writerly joy, and hang onto them as tightly as possible.
It’s easy – too, scarily, easy – to decide doing the things you love is too hard, too complicated – that writing or attending plays, like the bitch pants and high heels you wore in college – belong to a different era, an era you’ve outgrown. There’s enough crap that’s just addictive enough on television, and more than enough, always, to take care of personally and professionally, to stop doing what you love to do, but this much I know – it would break my heart if this child of mine really, really loves something – dance or slide guitar or basketball or whatever – and didn’t pursue it. Now way is he or she going to be born to a mother who spends more of her time watching House marathons than she does writing. No way.
A-hem. So. Off the soap box. Thanks for your patience. I am really very excited to blog again. I’ve missed you all. And, don’t get me wrong – I am pretty sure I will be writing about my writing life here regularly. I probably just won’t tweet my blog post and then post it on an agent’s website and then check a search engine to see how many people have read me in the last half hour…need different ways to measure my writing life, since it’s probably never going to pay me very much.