Containment

It’s the night of the darkest day of the year.

Writing and publishing have this strange contrast, where a lot of writing skill comes from being able to– and being driven to– express yourself. But maintaining relationships relies on containment. Being able to bear long waits. Taking criticism, yes, but criticism is nothing in comparison to taking silence. And to be clear, I have no reason to believe any silence is bad! It’s simply something all writers have to be pretty good at.

I’m in a little bit of a fragile state lately. I don’t mind saying so because it’s pretty obvious, and the fact that I know it puts people more at ease than if I didn’t. I don’t pass as neurotypical at the best of times. Right now is the time of year one misses family and friends, and I’ve had a very recent death in the family. On top of that, I’ve had a new physical injury, worsening of insomnia, and the loss of a friend, all within about two months of one another. I’m neither able to sit or stand for long without agony, and I’m in pretty active grief. I’m dealing with this by writing. Constantly. I probably need to get off Twitter. I’m making more connections because I am trying to claw my way back onto dry land after being sucked out by an undertow.

But is what I am producing good?

It’s a myth that writers are all tortured artists. I think a lot of mentally ill people write, but seriously mentally ill people are, as all minorities are, very under-represented in publishing. It makes sense. These past couple of months have presented a challenge. I’m more productive.  I’m both having difficulty and having difficulty hiding that I am having difficulty, even when it would be polite. Publishing, like tech or acting, is one of those fields where everyone is, at all times “great!” Meanwhile, I feel like I’m clutching an obvious and gaping wound and begging, “pardon my mess.”

I don’t have some broader writing point, no #writetip. This is simply what’s up in my life. I’ll never lose writing, but I hope publishing is a thing I get to do.

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