“Why so quiet?” asked no one of me, ever. Yet, here I am, writing my semi-regular excuse for neglecting to post a thing in ages. Come to think of it, I wonder what the ratio of actual posts to posts about why I haven’t posted, might be. But I digress…
Why so quiet? A while back, I wrote about how I needed to level up on the corporate side of my career, and I followed through. I made my day job my focus and my priority. I dug in and worked hard. I became more mindful of my tone when pushing back on policies and processes that were…inefficient. And hot damn! The work paid off. An opportunity arose and my name was suggested. I interviewed, and ended up with a dream role, one that I really believed in. I thought I was going to help save the world (as much as a content developer can, anyway). I even did that cliché go-getter thing where I viewed every frustrating challenge as an opportunity to problem solve and showcase my ability, excited to advance my career and do some real good in the world.
And then, without warning, they cut funding to the project and it ended.
Now, if you’re in the business of writing and developing content, particularly in contract situations, you know that this is common. The whole point of contract work is that you’re somewhat disposable, no matter how talented or experienced you are, and dismissal often has more to do with budget than performance. Still, in this case, I was very lucky. A spot opened up on my previous team and I was able to negotiate a transition into that role. I lost a project, but not my job altogether, and during a pandemic when lots of people did lose their jobs, I counted myself blessed and moved on.
But I was still (am still) heartbroken about that project ending.
The only real thing that softened the blow was knowing that my fiction writing was still there, and I still had control over it.
So, the first thing I did was cut mental funding to a project.
The novel I was working on is on hold indefinitely because it read like my own personal therapy session spiced with ample shade at everyone I’ve ever met. The bloodthirsty demon I’d created to splatter gore all over the place did nothing to cover immature writing and hackneyed dreck that my work should have evolved well past by now. Maybe someday, once I’m finished working through all my personal crap, I’ll revisit that piece and make it something worth reading, but today is not that day.
I do have a project I’m actively working on. It began as a short story and has expanded from there. And the more I write, the more ideas I have. I think—and I don’t want to jinx it—but I think it might end up being a worthwhile novel. But that means it’s going to take more time. A lot more time.
And I’m watching the hourglass. I see said time slipping away. I know how long it’s been since I put anything viable out into the world (approx. 6 ½ years at the time of this writing), but y’all…let’s talk about the world for a second.
I am of the belief that for a writer to create a really beautiful piece—poetry or prose, fiction or non-fiction—the writer has to care enough about the human condition to pour all that creative energy into saying the deep, meaningful thing. Well, after the last two years of watching people ignorantly refuse to help protect each other against COVID-19, and the last ALL of my living years of hearing people’s heartless responses to social injustice, and that people are still not doing much about the climate crisis, all I really want to say to humanity is, “F*CK OFF! F*CK RIGHT OFF, RIGHT NOW! Get off my lawn. Lose my number. Delete my email. Don’t find me on the apps.”
And if you can’t say anything nice, don’t say anything at all.
So yeah…that’s why I’ve been so quiet.