This is not a post about the notorious ‘writer’s block’–this is about another form of mind-shutdown. This is about trying to understand where I want to go from here–as a writer and as a person traveling through life without the partner I cherished for over forty years. I have discovered that my enthusiasm for certain types of stories has waned. I have also discovered that my desire to write something that resonates — with me mostly — and perhaps with others has increased. And yet I am my own worst enemy when it comes to this. I have deadlines coming–reasonable deadlines that I could easily meet well ahead of schedule if I weren’t one of those people who has for all my life procrastinated until the last possible second. I could work on the story I truly want to write at the same time that I am turning out the stories already under contract–but somehow my mind does not work on dual tracks like that.
The truth is that I am filled with self-doubt in all facets of my life. There’s a song in the film FUNNY GIRL (that I don’t think was in the play). It comes after Nick has left Fanny Brice and the lyrics are something like “Who are you now? Now that he’s gone?” Yeah–I get that.
So, time to come up with a plan and right now the plan is to complete the obligations I have and meanwhile look for a writer/artist colony that I might apply to for next fall–there to dedicate several weeks to just writing that story I want to write–the one that maybe sheds light on the life I am now leading.
To that end I would love to hear from others who may have had the ‘colony’ or ‘residency’ experience–where? how was it? how did it change your work–and you?