Saturday, October 14, 2017
I have this incredibly lofty goal to both write everyday and make some sort of gesture toward art everyday and usually I end up failing. The writing happens in fits and spurts and sometimes a mad dash toward either an external or personal deadline. So much falls into the path on a daily basis that I end up cutting myself too much slack and the next thing I know, I get that itchy, dissastified feeling that I'm not devoting sufficient time to my own creative pursuits and too much directed toward library and press things, and just time wasters and general life stuff. It's easier with art--to just dive in and make something happen on the fly, but writing is an altogether different beast--one that has to happen under the right atmospheric circumstances--sort of like a tornado, the correct science of air masses and currents to actually get spinning, and sometimes even when it's spinning, it doesn't always meet the ground, let alone do the sort of good damage you want it to.
So thus, there's always this overwhelming feeling of not living up to potential (I just mis-typed "poetential" there and that seems incredibly fitting.) Projects that have been conceived, and sometimes even named with titles that are waiting to actually happen. And we won't even talk about the writing-business side, the work that is done and very little time/energy to send it out in the world in any sort of effective way. Just getting the writing done seems hard enough when your juggling dayjobs, and editing/bookmaking work, not to mention commutes, housework, errands, and lately trips out to visit my mom on the weekend (and even I admit it's so much easier than for other women because I don't have children and am entangled romantically with one of the only people I've ever met with more creative & work time commitments than me).
Granted I wrote & submitted more in the early 2000's (both before and during grad school, the former because my obligations both inside and outside the day job were simpler, and the latter because I HAD to. ) But then there was the press and the crazy etsy shop ride , and then just the press but steadily growing all the time and still growing. And then more creative fun opportunities library-wise with A of R, things that I also work on sometimes on my own time but also make my experience in the library far more rewarding than it used to be just pushing papers around and supervising the circ desk.
Even still I've managed, as I occasionally have to remind myself, to produce pretty well, even since finishing my MFA 10 years ago, maybe not at first, but the last 6 years or so finishing about a book a year and making lots of artist books, chaps, and zine projects that at least make me feel a little more productive. But then there is so much unwritten or half written or merely conceived as a tiny glimmer at the back of my brain. And so much more to do and it feels like so little time (not just daily time, but approaching / possibly already middle age at 43, and so, you know , facing my own inevitable mortality kind of thing.) It's this sort of low-key, but steadily building, panic sensation. What if I never get to the end of the project to-do list? What if all those things go unwritten?
Of course, today. my only rare day off and obligation free, I wake late to a cloudy overcast day, drink too much coffee, and waste time on social media and pen this blog post instead of a poem. But maybe I'm just sitting here waiting for the right winds that make one possible.