Thursday, December 05, 2013

Sometimes, just getting out the door...

I was speaking with my minister yesterday, a man of great depth and talent, and he said each morning, he takes time out to write before he begins his day.  My response was that I should do the same instead of feeling like I am neglecting other things.  After all, I am a writer.  But if I don't get up and right out the door, I tend to lose motivation to perform necessary tasks.  And I do need to take care of business.  Let's face it.  Writing doesn't pay the bills, nor does it run errands or attend meetings.  This nonsense of having to make ends meet is annoying.

My brother is also a writer, one who would like to make a living from that and by producing audio books.  He's quite good, and I don't want to discourage him, but I don't want to see him live in poverty, either.  The rest of the world, the non-artists, seem to believe if we are poor, it's by choice.  Presumably, writers decide to live with heads in the clouds, and that means we are lazy.  It would be nice to preach, "Who cares what they think?" but "they" pretty much run the world.  It's a sad reality that if writers, even seasoned ones, aren't operating within the confines of academia or the mainstream market, they are dismissed.

I'm not whining.  I knew decades ago (has it really been decades?) I could not support myself or anyone else on writing.  I've also learned I'm not fit for academia, nor am I mainstream.  Agents aren't generally attracted to poets.  Couple this with my personal challenges and what results is a feeling of being a failure in the employment world.  I've ingested inadequacy.  I guess this is what happens to people who are labeled as marginalized--as opposed to lazy--by the more compassionate.

A couple of times, I considered filing for disability, so difficult is it for me to maintain anything other than a semi-consistent stream of creativity.  But I'm too high functioning to do that, and it's not really what I want.  If I'm not working outside my home, I don't feel particularly productive and besides, if I don't have external responsibilities, I might never leave the house.  Ironically, those external responsibilities can also overwhelm me, making me seek shelter in said house, resulting in an ego beating.  My confidence in my ability to maintain employment is built on a frozen lake that threatens to crack at any drop in temperature.

So there is my morning confession, as if I ought to be ashamed and do penance for what I am experiencing.  That's what happens to marginalized writers with disabilities.  We hear that failure is our own fault, and we begin to believe it, which only worsens our condition.

At what point is creativity smothered by all this?  I don't know, and I hope I never know.  I'd like to think that since my mind demands I produce, that my mind will continue to do so, that at my core, I'm the same person driven by need to express that I was as a child and always have been.  Thus far, I've been correct.  It might be the only thing I've been correct about.  If so, perhaps I've done better than many who can't even acknowledge who they are. 
Post a Comment