Tuesday, December 23, 2014

On Things That Are Uncomfortable

So, it's been a struggle recently. A struggle pretty much in every way, even though I'm very aware of how 'not really that bad' things are. Funny how knowing that things could be so much worse than they actually are, doesn't do anything to make you feel better about the things that also aren't great at the moment.

Writing has been hard. It's not a matter of not having any ideas, but rather, not being able to settle on any of them. I'm like a deranged trout trying to swim upstream in every directing except right through the rapids where I need to go in order to get anywhere. Catskin is officially 'dead' for the time being. Yes, it's with an agent, and a small publishing house. But they obviously aren't *incredibly excited* over it, or they're so busy that even if they love it, they don't have the time to address new clients at the moment. That's fine, and also totally understandable. Maybe something will come of it, maybe it won't. At this point, though, I can't afford to keep dicking around with it (and I'd be wrong to) and since I'm not making anymore changes without professional guidance, I'm shelving it.

My current projects run the gamut of fantasy, to contemporary, to contemporary/paranormal/ghost to something dangerously futuristic/post apocalyptic. The problem is that in an industry that's currently undergoing a glut of self-publishing and independent publishing (good things, and cheers to those who can utilize them) I have no sense of direction, so I'm finding it exceedingly difficult to actually finish anything new. I'm perpetually second guessing myself and which project is more worth the time and might stand more of a chance at being successful. The recent largely publicized celebrity book deals haven't helped, just because on a purely emotional level, they're rather depressing to hear about. Especially the ones that don't bring anything new to the ring, or that involve 'authors' who never intended to actually write books, and were just writing 'for the fun of it'. I hold no grudges against them, but it's agonizing to have shaped my entire life around the goal of becoming a published author, and then see opportunities handed to people who DON'T WANT to be professional writers, but whom the publishing houses see as an 'easy moneymaker' for at least one or two books. Those not-really-writers will have the time of their lives, and if nothing else comes of it, fine. But meanwhile there are thousands of people like me struggling daily to attain that dream who have, essentially, maybe lost out on a chance to make it because a huge amount of money was tossed at someone else. Never mind the established very hard working authors who are literally just scraping by, and then are being brushed aside by these flash-in-the-pan deals.

Which brings me to my current emotional state. It's not an entirely happy one. While Mom is doing super well (YAY, omg, so grateful to the powers that be, still praying, but I'm so grateful) there have been a lot of other stressors. Mostly, the fact that I'm still not over the farm. I know, I drone on about it so. But it's the truth. It's a fight, trying to find the sort of happiness I had at the farm, when I'm no longer at the farm, no longer anywhere near it. I've got the scraps of two separate memoirs in regard to it, but they've been harder to write than I could ever have imagined. One of them focuses entirely on Di. I thought that I had at least acclimated to the fact that she's gone, but the more I work to write her story, the more I realize I'm not adjusted at all. Dwelling on her can send me into the closest thing I've ever felt to depression, or what I imagine depression is like. It takes a toll on me. So, of course, I only work for the briefest times on it, then stop. Which, really, only makes things worse, in some ways, because then I'm back to feeling as though I haven't gotten anything meaningful done on any manuscript. It's a vicious circle, but I'm still motoring around it determinedly.

Here's the thing about me, and things that are uncomfortable: I'm really good at dealing with them, if I know there's going to be an end to it. But when I can't see an end, I feel like I'm lying to myself, weaving untruths about how things are going to turn out just so I'll make it through. I've always been one who would rather face the harshest truth, than the kindest lie, so this floating around making up shit about how someday I'm going to be a real, published, writes all the time writer just sucks the life out of me. I don't want a handout, I just want a freaking chance. And now, I'm not even sure how to go about pursuing that chance, since at least the two memoirs are entirely different balls of wax than the YA that I usually write. Which, I don't even know if I should be spending time on those manuscripts. They are books that I want to write, and at least the one about the farm will have the local interest angle, along with my twin sister's photographs. Commercially, that one is the strongest simply because their aren't many memoirs written by one identical twin, photographed by the second twin, and revolving around a local historical estate. But what do I know? Sometimes, I feel like I'm just grasping at ideas, turning it into a spaghetti toss to see what sticks to the wall. I don't even know anymore.

Now that I've sufficiently blathered out my woes for the time being, I'll leave it open for opinions (I think you can leave comments, though I'd tried to turn them off at one point) and tell me what you think.  And know that I AM grateful for all the good things in my life, the fact that *so far* everyone is healthy (well, besides me, hello, shingles for the THIRD time in one year, but I'll live) and all my Christmas shopping is done. Tomorrow is Christmas with my sister, niece and brother in-law. Then Mom, Dad and I will have our Christmas on Christmas day, and go up to my aunt's for the family hoopla. It'll be a fun time for sure.