I keep getting frustrated with myself. Bogged down, feeling like a toddler, I DON’T WANNA! Don’t wanna get up, or decide what productive thing to do, or wash dishes, or … or … or write, of course, because that’s there too. Or worse, I want to write, but I don’t want to tear open the vein and feel what’s there. Or I don’t want to keep banging my head against a wall. I dunno.
I’m trying to rewrite my vampire story, and I’m stuck on this scene. Do I just need to bang my head on it harder? (That’s my default assumption, it may be faulty.) Is it the wrong scene and I can’t see it because that’s always been the scene? Or am I just writing the wrong story right now? What’s the right story? How would I know?
The other morning I woke up grumpy. I was tired (I’m always tired when I wake up), and I was thinking of all the things I haven’t done, should’ve done, should I get up and wash dishes, should I help Ben with breakfast, should I should I? Or worse, I should I should. And some of the grumpy got turned outward on Ben, because that’s what happens. So then I wonder, is there some psychological reason I’m grumpy? I should do something to get un-grumpy, because I shouldn’t be judging myself. So now I’m judging the judging. o_O Seriously, my brain.
I haven’t worked on the story in days, and I haven’t worked on anything else either. Because my brain is judging and saying “You should be finishing this vampire story!” and instead of some other part of me saying very linearly, “But that’s the wrong story” or “But I’m coming at the story wrong” or anything so useful, I just don’t want to write, and I feel miserable and grumpy. Because the part of me that can determine whether it’s the right story isn’t linear, so it doesn’t communicate in whole ideas like that. It just gets grumpy. Or stubborn, and some other part of my head gets grumpy. (When I’m in it, I can’t always tell which part of my psyche is having which reactions. And notice the part of my brain making that sentence thinks I should be able to tell, and is judging me for that. Oh, the judgment how it swirls.)
Anyway, so I was telling Ben about my grumpy morning, which actually started with a grumpy evening the night before, after he went to bed, but it’s not much different from the grumpy morning so I didn’t bother telling you about it before, but I was telling him about the grumpy evening and the grumpy morning. And he said*, “I guess I’m not surprised that you’re having tough emotions and doubts at this stage in your experiment. It’s still early. But I have no doubt that you’re going to succeed.” And then he went away to do something else.
And I remembered I also have confidence that I’m going to succeed. And I have confidence that it’s going to suck sometimes, because learning a new thing always sucks, and I’m learning a whole new way of living. It always gets rough before you make a breakthrough. I’ve been having a lot of rough, these past few weeks, interspersed with awesome.
And today I read this blog post by Amanda Palmer, who makes awesome music, who’s married to Neil Gaiman, who makes awesome books, in which she reviews his latest book and their marriage. Two artists married to each other. Two artists who had long solo careers of being creative in a particular way before getting married, and not always knowing how not to hurt each other while doing their own things. And I’m so envious of them, because they know how to do their things already. They’ve had years and years of making art for a living, in which to discover that they work best alone, or in short bursts or long bursts or intense obsessive** weeks of Making Art, or whatever. And I’ve had one month, half of which was actually vacation.
It’s still early, yet.
* He didn’t actually say it like that. I don’t remember his words. But these words get me to the same feeling I had when he said his words, so they’ll do.
** This word is never spelled the way I think it should be: obssessive. Or maybe obsssesssive. If you’re going to be obsessive, you should have tons of extra esses. I’m just sayin’.