Every once and a while, a kind of invisible drain opens up beneath me, absorbing my energy and inspiration. When these kinds of things happen, I’m not sure where to turn. These are the times when I want to write but I am having trouble figuring out what I want to write about. The times when I want to read new things but I start nearly 5 books before finding something that grabs onto me. I want to watch a new show, but I find myself backtracking and watching shows that I’ve already watched a million times, like Buffy the Vampire Slayer.
I am starting to realize that the comfort of good entertainment is as intoxicating as it is stifling. It hasn’t always been this way and I doubt that it will remain this way forever. But I realize, that I am going through some kind of thing. Some kind of thing where I have a dozen story ideas incubating that need to be released in some form, a dozen work projects that need to be completed, a dozen different experiences that I think would be interesting. And yet – I’m staying still, not moving.
The world inside my head is simultaneously colourful and grey. And even though this could sound like a bad thing – it really isn’t. I feel like I genuinely accept this place that I’m at. I’m watching these people, authors and artists doing all of these cool and scary things on Twitter. I’m watching this wonderful and manic energy they have to connect with others. At times I wonder why I’m not jumping in all over the place myself. Except that I’m not. And I’m okay with that. I decided to stop, to take stock, to pay attention to the many wondrous things that others are doing around me and learn how to get better at doing what I like to do. And I feel like being willing to take this time and not berate myself for it, is really important.
In the last part of August and the first part of September I worked on editing a story that I had been writing. It was a wonderful experience and I learned a lot about storytelling from it – much of which has been documented by other writers in many places. It was my birthday present to myself – to really dedicate the time to work on and finish a project. Shortly after I did this work, I read this article in Entertainment Weekly with Joss Whedon. In the article Joss talks about teen girl/women characters and describes what he thought was missing from them. It made me think a great deal about my own characters - who they are, how they’re written and the positions they hold in the story. There’s a lot to say on this subject and I’ve been slowly preparing a bit of a post around one particular question. What makes a female character awesome?
Finally, I started back to school a few weeks ago. Education. I have so much passion for this subject that it overwhelms me. Even in these times when I am feeling a bit disconnected from the world, the discussion and possibilities in the area of education light me up. Just how cool can we make our education system, while still helping people find their place in the world, take their place in the universe, and be apart of sustaining peaceable relationships inside of it? I want to find out. There are concepts that I think are part of the answers, all of which are already working somewhere, implemented by some brilliant and motivated teacher or school. Building Communities. Connecting Ideas. Transformation. Sharing. All of the things I am sometimes the worst at - I can be quite the hermit at times!
I don’t plan to stay that way. I definitely draw a lot of strength from solitude but I think my comfort zone has moved and my priorities have shifted without me ever realizing that they did, and suddenly, I want to move on and incorporate a new way of doing things. It's easy to stay still, especially now that I'm all safe in my comfort zone - but it's time to wake back up again. To share more, more ideas, more writing, in a way that still seems authentically me. This is all so journal-ly, it’s kind of funny. I can be such a tortoise sometimes (meaning slow moving - I realize that tortoises are very wonderful and much faster swimmers). Holding onto things for a long time, deliberating where others dive in. Talking about doing something and still without actually doing it yet.
I don’t think I’m alone here, but in sharing this, I hope to break my mould just a little bit and give myself permission to climb out of my comfort zone and move forward! Let’s see where it takes me.
~Time to swim