While on lunch break at work, a bunch of actors/standardized patients were sitting around a table wearing paper gowns talking about how hard it is to be actors. Someone offered that when one gets discouraged with the actor’s lot of failed callbacks and low-paying, sporadic work, the best thing to do is to quit acting in one’s mind. Don’t quit for real, just quit in your mind to take the edge off. If you’ve quit, you’ll seem less desperate, you’ll go out more, you’ll take a trip, you’ll read a book. Then when you come back from your hiatus which you told no one about, you’ll be better, happier, stronger, older and thus more likely to book the job, in theory.
I think I did something similar with my writing this winter. As a rule, I write in my journal or blog when I see something that inspires me or something interesting/funny/story-worthy happens. I write when I have something of value to contribute to this flooded cesspool of people's mindful and mindless musings. Phrases will come to me out of the stratosphere while riding my bike or knitting quietly. This winter, the phrases didn’t come and neither did the impulse to tap the keys of my undergraduate Mac with the smudged screen. I forgot I was a writer (well, a person who writes). If writing was The Game, I was winning.
I think there is a sweet spot to quitting something in your mind. You gotta know when to join back up; you must sense when you are full of things to write about or full of energy and ideas to act or create again. I missed my sweet spot. I forgot I was a writer for so long that I stopped asking the phrases to come, stopped looking for the stories, stopped observing the people around me. I’ve become more interior and self-critical, less generous and content. Certain stories are now past their time and cannot be written. Even writing this feels labored, clunky and a chore. But I writing it.* I’ve lost The Game because I remembered I am a person who writes. No qualifiers, I just write.
|Scot in the greenhouse.|
|The bunnies on Easter morning after the egg hunt.|
|Beautiful Easter ham.|
One thing is for sure, I better not tell them what a loser I am cause I think about The Game all the time.
*This is an typo from my first draft left intentionally because (1) it makes me laugh and (2) it shows the depths of depravity my writing has come to. I WRITING IT, DAMN IT!