I’ve been thinking about age recently, how I’m 34 and by various measurements that could be ½, 1/3, or some other fraction of my life. Wanting to do everything I can, of course, with my life, given my position in life, and thinking of how limited that might be. I’m appreciating what life and time I do have, just in sitting in the backyard with my computer or lying in bed waiting to fall asleep.
I’m working on not beating myself up for imperfection. It’s natural for me to hate myself for imperfect communicative interaction: a miffed twitter encounter, a conversation gone slightly wrong. It makes me cringe when it happens but I’m working at letting it go, and not making up in my mind what the other person might be thinking about the encounter. I’m fairly psycho when it comes to this, and would like to be less so. I’m a perfectionist, what can I say?
I’ve been reading online today. Poetry. By Gabby Gabby. I enjoy.
And my outline is coming along, for this new novel. I have about five pages now, chronological, hierarchical, detailing the main character and a handful of supporting character’s action, with many scenes drawn out. I could definitely start writing from this outline, but I have two concerns. 1) I want to make sure I’m in a peaceful enough place, where I can have the rigorous scheduled time I need, to write this. Writing during Daniel’s nap means that writing time is variable, and—I don’t know—I just want to make sure I really have the time to write it, once I start. 2) is that I might want to write something more surreal, less structured, instead of writing this novel at all. On (1), part of me is considering whether I might be able to write this with a little less structures time, i.e. not knowing that I have ½ or all of a day set out for writing, but writing during Daniel’s nap, then a little after dinner, etc. It doesn’t seem unrealistic that that could work, but I want to have a plan going into it. On (2), I don’t know, I had so much fun writing Untitled document (even though now I have extreme doubts about its worth), that maybe it might be fun to do something else that is not a straight story. It’s all up in the air.
In my last post, I said there was some stress associated with my book coming out—what a punk, privileged, selfish thing to say! What kind of stress is associated with your first novel coming into print by a growing, cool, literary press? It’s a low-key affair. It’s not like I have to do anything, really, except not freak out and let the publisher do his part to help promote and sell my book! So maybe that was a bit of an overstatement, or a mis-statement. The fact that it’s going to be out of my hands, even, that it’s going to be a real grown-up book that I can’t edit at a moment’s notice..is ok with me. I’m happy with what is in that book, I’m confident about the text, I trust it. So I don’t need to be worried about it, really. Maybe I’m a bit sad the writing is done, even though it’s been done for years. Maybe I hope it turns into something other than a low-key affair: that we get someone major to review it. I would love that, but, I guess, like with the rest of that project, there’s nothing I can do about it. I wrote it. It’s over. It’s done. Time for me to do something else.
I guess the last thing I’ll tell you is that I’m struggling with abusing my prescription medication. I’m tempted to double up on the antidepressant, even though doing it doesn’t do anything but make me grind my teeth. Also, when I take my PRN anti-anxiety medication, I feel like I’m abusing it, even though according to doctor’s instructions, I’m not. I’m supposed to take it up to three times a day, and I usually take it once, at night, because it makes me tired. But that’s the thing: I’m taking it because it makes me tired, not because it makes me less anxious, so I feel like I’m abusing it to manipulate my sleep, which feels like misuse. None of this matters, except that as a sometimes drug user, taking this Rx medicine feels just as manipulative and control-oriented and in some ways as addictive as doing coke. I’m doing it when I don’t really want to be doing it, I’m doing it for complex reasons, and I’m thinking about it waaaaay too much. It just feels like I haven’t made much progress in terms of mental addictions, and my old psychiatrist would probably be telling me that she thinks I need to spend more time meditating, to get to the present moment.