Accepting small failures, and moving on

Or “I’ll admit I’m not some sort of superhero, even if I’m an infallible, god-like being who knows no parallels.” As a related point of interest to this sub-title: when I claim to be infallible in front of my Grandma June, she typically responds by calling me a shithead. If that doesn’t merit sharing, I don’t know what does.

This goes back to my last post a little, and by a little I mean a good bit. I’m not sorry. It’s been a long, tiring day, and my internal clock is telling me to go to bed.

My creative process is far from complex, and will probably sound fairly familiar to some of you. There are days when I’ll manage to churn out pages upon pages of material. I won’t take breaks, not even for food or sleep. Sometimes, I end those days feeling immensely proud of the work I’ve done, and other times I’ll go to bed knowing I’ll spend a good deal of the next writing session pressing down the Backspace key. Regardless, those days are full of creativity, and so they make me undeniably happy.

And then there are days when the world, despite my inclinations towards whimsy and the fantastical, tells me to just, you know, call it a day. I can tell it’s one of those days if I go to write and feel like I have to force every letter of every word, only to hate it moments later. Also because I’m more inclined to indulge in heavy-duty snacking or drinking (the former tonight, as I have work tomorrow…and the next day…and so on).

This past week, and these past days, have been personal trials of sorts. I’d like to say I’m a big enough person that I can move past sludge and drudgery of a bad work-day, but that shit tends to build up around my legs as I trudge through it. It builds up, weighing me down until all I can muster is a grumpy “meh” and a defeated shrug. Days like this are ones I keep all of my Kurt Vonnegut books well out of reach, because though I love Vonnegut’s writing with much of my cynical, black heart, I also acknowledge they transport me to dark, unhappy places I should not go to regularly. There are reports of me muttering something along the lines of “You wouldn’t like me when I’m mopey” before transforming into the Incredible Sulk.

I found myself, on this hot and sticky-humid evening, bemoaning my inability to string words together in a way I found to be even a little pleasing. I shoveled a fistful of popcorn into my mouth, sitting cross-legged on my couch with my laptop (and it’s rather clunky, irritating cooling mat) situated just at the edge of my knees, and found a deep, unsatisfactory frustration with myself. How on earth do I expect to write for a living if I can’t even find the strength to push myself to write even a little? Now, yes, I could go into exactly how many different things went into making today, and the past seven or so days, so damn bad. There’s a list of things that has continued to grow as time marched on. I thought about that long and hard, and I realized something.

The items on that list, and their impact on my writing, sounds a lot more like an excuse than nothing else.

Not managing to produce any creative writing, or at least any writing of substance, will always feel like some sort of failure to me, I’m sure, but I can’t help but feel like tonight was a small learning experience. The Universe’s way of saying “chin up, you little shit; not every day will turn into you writing two chapters of a novel”.

In closing, I’m still accepting applications from deranged millionaires and eccentric billionaires who want to bankroll my lavish, mostly lazy lifestyle of writing as much as I please, sleeping whenever I want, and wearing nothing but designer suits. I look absolutely amazing in suits, and nobody can take that away from me.

That ending almost feels a little too “Baconian five paragraph essay” to me, so I invite you dear readers to consider just how wonderful the first really intense summer thunderstorm will be. Shut your eyes, try to envision the flashes of lightning, and brace yourself for the rumbling thunder, because summer thunderstorms are the absolute best things in the world.

And now I feel much better for getting off my ass and doing something with my night other than moping about.

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