Basically, It seems to boil down to the fact that I took the day off to have a crisis of faith about writing.
Not really about *writing* though, so much -- but about showing it. What , and how much and which to who - and why. And not just fiction, but the random blithering I do out here.
It's timing, I think. It seems to happen now and again to everyone I know that writes, and I had a confluence of crap that I would ordinarily try to ignore. For me, the reason I gave in to it today is probably lack of sleep, which saps my tolerance level.
Jim had today off, so we sat up late kicking around story ideas and watching anime. He even handled the phone last night (one of the reasons I feel so far behind is that I seem to have been on the phone non-stop for two weeks. I am not good on the phone - I can't see people, or touch them). He fell asleep on the couch, I did some file sorting, and I tumbled into bed at my usual time - somewhere around 7 am.
At 9:30 the phone woke me abruptly. It was in fact the Lord Of The Rings merchandising people, who have now *really* pissed me off. They seem unable to grasp the fact that I am telling the truth when i tell them I *have* what I want. Then they start making suggestions, and eventually, they get it. Then we have the "What *would* interest you?" conversation, and I take a deep breath because this is always the same.
"Faramir," I tell them. If you have Faramir merchandise, I will buy it.
"We do!" they assure me, and begin to tell me about Saruman merchandise. What is up with this? Some of you have spoken to me on the phone, and I don't seem to have any trouble making myself understood. (you may correct me if this is wrong.) I don't think these names sound similar at all- I think it is because it is as close as they can get to what I am asking for. Not close enough.
Then they tell me about swords - Sting, they say is beautiful. Well, I saw Sting in Toronto, and is is beautiful. But not what my mythos is craving. There is no way to attempt this explanation, so I tell them I am *not* interested in hobbit merchandise. "What are you looking for they ask again, and I tell them men, I am interested in men. Faramir, remember him?
Shocked that I am not interested in Frodo or Legolas, eventually we get back on track and I tell them that I have *just recently spoken to someone there* and *told* them they can call Jim in September and talk Rohirrim swords. I am not going to buy multiple swords in one month, no matter how good a deal they offer me. It's not that hard a concept. (and besides, they are not going to beat the price I am getting where I shop, no way, but we don't go into that.) And that I am getting annoyed that since we had this conversation, they have dramatically increased the frequency of their calls.
I talk to them every time, though - because I am hoping in some deluded spot in my brain that 20 different people are writing down "Faramir" in the box that says what they could have sold if they had it.
But as Arlo Guthrie says, I didn't come to talk about that.
Today, they woke me, and Jim got up so I was not able to go back to sleep, knowing I was missing time off with him. So I found myself staring at words on the screen. At least I had the benefit of knowing I was too tired to challenge them to dance. They would have bamboozled me in no time. But I had an unexpected number of hours to get broody over not writing when I badly wanted to, and that turned my focus onto the week's aggravation and rejections.
It really annoys me how much weight those unfriendly words carry when I am tired.I can take criticism, and I don't need it sugar coated. I do pay attention, and I hope to grow as a writer - after all, I've only been doing it a year, there had better be room for growth and sharpening of skill. It's not about ignoring those opinions.
But when i am not so tired and unsure if it will come back, I like the place where I stand better. It is, basically, Frankenfurter's place - "I didn't make him for you."
I do it for me; and the criticism of those who have been into the heart of my work will always carry more weight with me than a random critics. Tonight I am just tired, and worn down.
So if you ever find me putting lack of sleep, sugared dessert, complaint fallout from awards and story rejections together again, you have my permission to send me to bed without my powerbook.
off to put my head under my wing.