Wednesday, September 15, 2010

I Suffer From A Lack of Passion...

It feels like battle fatigue.  I had a form of that growing up and it never quite ran away. 

I look back at that sentence and my first impulse is to fix it, but that Freudian quality is just what I'm talking about.  I thought it would be easier after I recovered from being my mother's caregiver, but the financial disaster her illness created for me is still (six years later) rippling out into the rest of my life. And it makes me feel like selling my jewels to keep the farm.  Instead I sold the farm to keep the farm.  This is the magic of the Reverse Mortgage.  Next, if I can find that top hat, I might try a rabbit trick.

The book I wrote, The Narcissist,  is about my nightmarish relationship with my strange mother.  I thought when I finished it things would change.  I now wonder if I can't write a query letter because I'm not done with the book yet.  Does it need a rewrite?  Why can't I write a synopsis?  What's the book about again?

I felt a few moments jubilation when I thought I finally figured out the device to bring the narrative into the first person present tense, to hold the story together, to give it a focus, to keep it in the moment, to give it life.  I did that last rewrite and thought I was finished.  But then the next step would have been to write a query letter and a synopsis.  I'd have had to pick a genre, and sell it like cereal.  Is it my desire to be discovered and thus forgo all the grubby work of finding an agent and getting published?  Oh fiddle de de.  Am I just a dabbler?

I did have a Scarlett O'Hara moment, thinking "I'll think about that tomorrow" the last time I pondered the Query quandary and then promptly followed my bliss into a flirtation with a man I've never met (nor ever will) which temporarily revived my libido and was cause for some slightly reckless solitary celebration and that turned into the first six chapters of a new book.

Then someone talked me into joining Facebook.  I wish I knew which one of you to blame for this time-sucking obsession but it's the reason I can't writing anything except the occasional comment.  It isn't Twitter's fault this time.  Facebook has me stalking the great news story and friending my favorite reporters.  It's Facebook's fault. 

At about the time I joined up, Fairlane (a man who used to scare me) asked me to contribute to a new blog, Black Magpie Theory.  I kind of worshipped Fairlane from afar, years ago (how sick is that to worship a man who scares you) so my ego made me say "yes" without giving much real thought to it.  (I think some version of this is what was wrong with all my relationships with men.)  And then insecurity set in.  And then the invitation became a meeting, and then the deadline became a reality.  I couldn't meet my deadlines.  Other writers (like Lisa and Tengrain) said it better, and I wasn't posting much on my blog either.  You know the rest.  I'm not writing. 

When will the dry spell end?  Your guess is as good as mine.


Lisa said...

Oh, I hear you. I'm curious - is the book to be a memoir or do you want to present it as fiction?

I think keeping the creative juices flowing is the hardest part of this. I know I struggle with it on a daily basis. I'm also guessing that eventually, your mojo will return and you'll post more. With the upcoming elections, I see a muse.

Utah Savage said...

Lisa, I don't know what do call it, and maybe that's part of the problem. It is a memoir and I've been trying to write a query as if it were a novel. Duh.

I'm not just uninspired; I'm facing some health problems. I have a colonoscopy scheduled for Tuesday. I'm hoping to avoid another hospitalization. I'll be paying for the one in March for 8 more months. 20% of a hospital short hospital stay is very pricy.

I hope your utility crisis has been resolved. It's such a pisser to be in this kind of mess. I wish us luck. I think we both deserve it.

Lisa said...

Oh, Peggy, I hate it that on top of everything else, you have health issues to deal with.

I agree, we need a break.

Definitely, when you're ready, go at that book as a memoir, I can help you find some agents to query, if you need that kind of help. And with a nonfiction, I think they look for proposals that are slightly different from the standard fiction query letter.

If/when you're ready, let me know if I can help you with anything.

susan said...

I came by to see if all is well with you since I haven't seen one of your BMT posts in a few weeks. My understanding about writing is that it's an extremely solitary occupation in any case but any creative endeavor while maintaining an online presence is very difficult. I have nothing but admiration for those who do it well and you are one of those.

Did you know I've moved back to Canada? One big reason was lessons learned from my lengthy experience in American medical care. I hope your problem isn't too serious.