The trouble with writing a blog where the focus is on a virtual world, is that the real world occasionally forces its way to the fore and demands to be taken into account. Generally, I’m pretty adept at skirting around such things, and most of the time – other than the little snippets of information I might let escape into the wild in the course of the usual bloggage – I manage to draw a polite veil over the goings-on in my real world. It wasn’t always that way: When I started blogging, purely for personal satisfaction, and never with the intention that any great number of people – particularly strangers – would ever read my words, my posts were a rollercoaster of emotion and personal turmoil. Thank goodness I managed to rein it all in and adopt a more ‘professional’ approach to my writing… although some of you may question that particular assertion!
So, when RL manages to assert itself to a point where it starts to interfere with my ability to remain rational(ish), objective(ish) and emotionally unattached(ish), these days it tends to come as quite an unexpected shock. This week has been such an occasion and, rather than give in and weather the storm, I’ve decided that the best form of defence, in this case, is attack. So, I’m afraid today you’re seeing the result.
Anyone who’s ever tried to properly write, whether for fun, profit, academic or business purposes, will have experienced the unalloyed joy of the infamous ‘writers’ block’ – trust me, it’s not just an excuse dreamed up by lazy writers or the terminally procrastinatory; it’s very real and it’s very, very frustrating. Most writers will develop their own strategy for dealing with dry periods, perhaps by stockpiling in more fertile times, or by employing tried and tested methods for kickstarting creativity. Over time, you come to an acceptance that these things can and do happen, and when the spectre of non-inspiration looms, you make a token struggle for a moment, sigh, and resign yourself to waiting it out until the creative juices start flowing again. The demon of writer’s block can turn up completely without rhyme or reason, or – as was the case in this instance – can be summoned into being by other, unrelated, factors.
It should have been a good week – the first week of a new work role; exciting opportunities and challenging situations. What I couldn’t have planned for was a totally unexpected phone call early in the week that completely messed up everything else. Tuesday morning, everything was great; Tuesday afternoon, everything had changed. Now, I’m a pretty resilient and easy-going person – it takes a hell of a lot to rattle me – but to be told something, out of the blue, that is going to require me to change completely my orderly, tidy, well-planned life, relocate, find a significant amount of money that I just don’t have and go through a load of disruption, upset and grief – and to have absolutely no control over the forces that are dictating this, was not an enjoyable experience, (having just re-read the previous sentence, I think I should assure you that no, the Mob has not taken out a contract on me; it’s far more prosaic than that, but equally distressing).
As a result, over the course of the last few days, I’ve ridden the Change Curve rollercoaster, rapidly progressing from shock, denial and resistance, through to anger – a brief foray into acceptance and resignation – only to come crashing back to a state oscillating between anger/frustration and depression. Normally, I’d adopt a position of ‘stiff upper lip’ and carry on regardless; my posts might become a little more vitriolic and acerbic than normally, but other than that it’s business as usual. That’s probably because I tend to embrace change, and it acts as an enabler for me, so to find myself flopping around at the bottom of a well as a result of one of life’s little curve balls, rather than pressing forward is a bit of a novel experience. Worse still, my brain has become so addled over the state of affairs that the creative side has decided to take a raincheck, and I’ve run into an horrendous period of writer’s block, the likes of which I’ve not suffered before.
Even the good ideas are proving fruitless – I had a great idea for an Alt. life: post, developed it over a couple of days, managed to get 300 or so words down and then… realised it was a complete load of rubbish and deleted it. Deleted it! Until now, I haven’t ever deleted a single post I’ve attempted to write – shelved a couple, yes; re-written a few, of course; and there have been one or two that simply won’t ever be published, but I’ve never before trashed a piece I’ve written, no matter what its state of completion.
The compulsion to just leave things to run down and shudder to a halt is overwhelming, but I decided some years ago that I will not be a victim of circumstance – easier said than done, but not impossible. Essentially, what I need is a good, hard kick up the butt!
Now, before you all start strapping on your kicking boots and forming an orderly queue, if there’s any butt-kicking to be done around here, it’s going to be me doing the kicking! Sorry about that, but I need to take control of my situation, rather than be controlled by it, and by definition ‘I’ has to be me. And that is how today’s post has come about. You don’t usually get a Friday post – a blog-free day is my littlepersonal reward for surviving the week… a quiet evening in, with a movie and a bottle of plonk, followed by some late night carousing with good friends at my favourite club in SL However that would have given me a great excuse to give in without even trying, followed by a weekend without writing and the prospect of hitting next week, and still no further forward.
I told myself I would get a post written, and I’m damn well going to do just that – even if it means breaking all the rules, not writing about SL and splurging a load of emotional crap all over the internet. Sometimes you have to compromise, drop the artificial standards and be real… I mean, really real. Somehow, it’s worked – I’ve broken the curse, written a post and published – something of a triumph, although you – the reader – may disagree.
So, there you have it – a few hundred words, of little interest to the wider world, and riding roughshod over the principle that this is a blog about SL and the occasional piece of creative(ish) writing. Not quite what you were looking for, or I would have wanted, but at least it’s a post.
If nothing else, it’s a pointed reminder that there really is a real person behind the avatar.
Ouch, I have lost myself again
Lost myself and I am nowhere to be found,
Yeah, I think that I might break
Lost myself again and I feel unsafe
Sia – Breathe Me