Wow. This always happens with me and blogging. I get so comfortable with the fact that nobody's reading that I leave my usual measured voice behind and just start ranting and throwing cats around. But those last two posts ended up serving a useful purpose. While they might scare away potential clients (and they shouldn't, because I could be dismembered in a ditch and still produce clean copy on a really tight deadline, honest), I got some clarity about my situation and am less frantic. Well, slightly less.
Being homeless cured me of hoarding stuff, but I'm an inveterate word hoarder, and it sometimes overlaps into a tendency to think cumulatively and obsessively about things. It's funny, because I prefer to err on the side of brevity in writing, always. My first drafts read like I just ran into you after a summer away at camp and will positively DIE if I don't tell you about the book I just read, but 95 percent of that crap is removed to hopefully make way for a coherent piece that's more about the book and less about how cute I think I am. It's much harder to quiet my mind in similar fashion, and when things happen in clusters I feel conspired against by the universe. So a rent hike, mice, rats, leaks, rejection of two creative pieces I was nudging around...well, the only logical conclusion is that someone's got it in for me. And I suck as a writer, which means I'm good at exactly nothing. Yay!
It was surprising to be pulled up short by an advice column in my local paper (the only part I read, and that includes my own weekly column which just advises you to eat a lot of farmers market food). The idea that tying unrelated events together might be a play for attention based on a stack of false premises hit home rather forcefully. It doesn't mean I'm going to invite the mice into my bed, or that my ceiling is miraculously cured--in fact, a repairman came today and tore the whole thing apart, then left wet insulation and ceiling chunks everywhere and never came back or called. Conspiracy? No! The guy's just a dunderhead, and that I can deal with.
I still want to move, but treading water like this is building new muscles, too. I just need to get out before ten years have passed with nothing to show for them. Oh, and the answer to my writing question is, apparently, you just knuckle down and do it wherever you can. Sometimes the adversity is a headache, and other times it's useful to press against. So: drafting, editing, finishing. Fun all around.