With no Internet in the Undisclosed Location it’s a fall back to doing it all old school: listing to CDs on the computer and writing this post in Word. This is why I should have held onto the modem; I could hack myself up a profile and run the Net wide open, as if I were Case.
So here I sit, munching on Cheez-its while I wash it all down with sips of cognac, and I’ve got REM’s New Adventures in Hi-Fi on the computer, and the reality is all is good, because I’ve been writing up a storm.
Well, a storm is relative. Yesterday (Saturday), it was 2,500 words, and tonight it’s around 2,100 words, and considering I’d been doing maybe 800 to 1,200 words a day, it’s a considerable increase. So it’s a little storm, but it’s better than what I’ve been doing.
This has all been going into one chapter, and that chapter is getting to be a really, really big one. Before I even got to where I am today, I “chatted out” the scene over dinner, so I knew what I’d be saying, more or less, before I ever wrote a word. It works for me, but when I was out at the mall today, talking to myself, I got a look from a woman that said, “Are you nuts or what?”
Hey, shit happens, love. Welcome to my world.
There was a time when talking to myself used to get me into a lot of trouble. My mother was always worried I was turning schizophrenic because I’d do this when I was like 8, 9 years old, and she figured I was seeing things that weren’t there. Sure, when I told her I wasn’t talking to anything, and that I was just talking to myself, she’d yell, “Stop it, then! You look crazy!” but that’s okay, because it was all done with love, right?
These days I often make light of my mental illness, because I understand it’s one of those things that’s always there, and you got to learn to deal with it. Yes, there was a time when I took medication to battle my bi-polar condition, but there was a problem with taking that medication. One, I wasn’t on one particular med, I was taking four: one to combat the depression, another to offset anxiety, another adjust my moods, and the forth . . . hell, I don’t remember why I was taking the forth. Eventually I stopped taking it because it wasn’t doing me any good.
I was taking about 450mg of meds every day. Yes, it helped, and it kept me focused, and it helped me deal with work . . . but I was lacking something. I didn’t have anything I’d call a spark. There was no inspiration.
I couldn’t find my voice.
With all that crazy feeling behind me I should have been able to write like a mother. I couldn’t. I couldn’t get motivated, and when I did, I couldn’t find anything worth while writing about. It was like my imagination, and the push I needed to get it into gear, had been vanquished along with my craziness.
As soon as I stopped taking medication—which was exactly around the time when I ran out of medical insurance—I started to get crazy again. It happened slowly, but it came back. All the fear, all the doubt, all the depression . . . yep, there it was again.
But I had something else, too.
I had the desire to write again.
I took an online class in November, 2010, then I started getting motivated in early 2011—well, I got that motivation with a little kick from my Muse—and then I started writing in real earnest in July of 2011.
The rest is, as they say, history.
I have a story out of Smashwords; I have a novel that’s getting edited; I’ve got a story that’s going to be published in May; I have another story I’ve finished and another that I’m about 14,000 worlds into.
I’m writing. I’m doing it all the time. And the moment I start selling this stuff on a regular basis, that’s when I quit the day job I’m about to start tomorrow and go back to being—as I told my daughter—“Second Mom”.
Yeah, I’m always going to be bi-polar. I can’t do anything about that. One of these days I’ll get back into therapy and I’ll talk about my issues, and maybe I’ll even take some meds to help with the really bad days that hit me.
But the real truth is that creative types tend to suffer from some kind of mental illness. Sometimes it’s kicking their ass to the point where they can’t function most of the time. Sometimes it takes them right out of the game.
Other times it gives them a push to keep on keeping.
So, here I am, kickin’ it old school, and the thing that bugs me the most these last couple of days? The Poe Toaster is gone, through, finished. No more three roses and a bottle of cognac. I’ve had that in my life for a very long time, but it’s over.
Some things are meant to end in their own time. When they do, take it stride and create something new.
Or better yet, just talk to yourself and see what comes of that conversation.