This is, without a doubt, the driest writing period I’ve had in my life. How to shut out noise is a problem I’m struggling with. Not just literal noise but spirit noise, world noise, the noisy needs of others, and the noise in my head. Writing is typically how I get some of the noise out of my head but lately I sit down to write and I can’t even make coherent sense of most of it. I think it’s been so long since I’ve been able to write regularly that there’s a lot of backed up noise in my brain. I can’t shake it loose in a meaningful way.
Stress has certainly frozen me.
Lately I’ve been really bothered by misogyny disguised as feminism. I see it everywhere and I feel really angry about it. There was one man in particular who I followed on Instagram and Twitter who finally tipped me over the edge of patience. I blocked him. He claims to love women but really he sees only through a traditional lens of a woman’s greatest power being her beauty and a man’s greatest power being, well, his power. And his power is generally strongly linked to his penis.
He writes “romantic” poetry that is ultimately either worshipful of women for their fragile beauty or poetry in which he penetrates women with his male power (his penis) and dominates them. But what really tipped me over the edge was him posting advice to women on how to be attractive to men. SO. FUCKING. GROSS. And also telling women that when their man yells at them they should yell back to show him their fire. What the fuck kind of advice is that? It leans hard on the idea that anger is a sign of passion. When I suggested counter advice (if a man yells at me, we’re through) he responded with a bunch of sideways nutsacks: “<3<3<3” And another gem was when he advised men not to be afraid of getting a woman pregnant.
AS IF MEN HAVE EVER BEEN AFRAID OF GETTING A WOMAN PREGNANT. IT’S PRACTICALLY HARDWIRED INTO MEN TO GET AS MANY WOMEN PREGNANT AS POSSIBLE.
Having to see his “poems” and “advice” and general obsession with his own feelings about women and sex and himself and himself having sex with women and also being a very emotional and moody poet and – I found myself starting to really hate men. It’s bullshit like this women have been fighting for a few thousand years. What makes me most angry is how this man thinks of himself as a great lover of women. Like, thinks of himself as a man who really respects them. But when you strip all the “I love and cherish women” stuff off the top where it floats like fluffy serene clouds, you find a man who wants to subsume women. Consume women. Advise them on how to BE women. That’s not a feminist. That’s not a person who respects women.
So I blocked him and it’s a relief not to see his bullshit polluting my social media. But I was scared to block him in case he comes here to comment or in case he finds my email and decides to write me that way. That was some serious noise. There have been other men on Twitter who’ve sent up major red flags and I’m getting better at sorting them out faster. Then there are the bigots and the racists and women shaming other women and those people spreading blankets of shame over the LGBT community.
PEOPLE ARE NOISY MOTHERFUCKERS.
This is all the price I pay to be connected to other writers and far away friends, a connection I value very much. I have learned ways to mute some of the noise and when my own life is calm and not full of serious stress I can think more clearly. But my life has not been calm at all. It IS settling down a little bit. My mom is getting stronger, Chick’s ear is healed (the surgery was a success), our car isn’t broken, I got a new phone, and Max’s toe is – well that’s still infected. So things are not quite as keyed up around here. But I’m still spending a lot of time being a caretaker to my mom. She’s supposed to be getting some home care help soon so I don’t have to do quite so much.
I still feel overwhelmed and I think depression is taking a toll on me right now. I’m at a low point in my depression cycle.
See? My drafts folder is full of unfinished posts like this one. I’ve begun the process of making some new clothes for myself so I expect some deeper depression to follow soon. Something wonderful did happen yesterday – it was grey and chilly out all day. I didn’t go outside for a minute and now I wish I had. The sun is back full blast with days and days of temps in the 80’s coming up. The one fall-ish day was uplifting. I would like some more please.
I had another dream that started off as a nightmare and kind of stayed stressful but I didn’t want to wake up because I was looking for someone and knew if I woke up I wouldn’t find them and I would feel incomplete and would never know the outcome of the dream. The second I woke up the dream faded fast like it was evaporated by the light of awareness. Why is it that when I want to remember a dream I can’t but the ones I want to push far away from me stick to me like velcro for days, sometimes years?
I have this nagging feeling that my writing is stuck because I’m snagged on something mentally. Something I can’t let go of but need to in order to dive back in. I’ve tried setting myself free to work on other ideas that are less fraught with intention and hinging on the details of my first novel, but those palled too. It isn’t the projects that are the problem, it’s inside of ME. Perhaps a fear of letting go of control for just a little bit. I already know I can’t wing it with novel writing. I need an outline so I keep the story on track. But perhaps I need to free-write for a little while. Maybe I need to write some scenes without any worry about how awful it will be or if it will bend consistency out of shape. I could write in a note or a separate folder so I don’t feel like I’m screwing up the current MS. Julie’s role is bigger this time but I don’t feel I’ve given her role enough meat yet. Some of this can be addressed in edits. In fact, the truth is, the whole manuscript will be made infinitely better in edits but to get to that point I HAVE TO FINISH WRITING THE WHOLE FIRST DRAFT.
I have to use all extra time to make clothes for myself first or I’ll have to go naked soon because my battered clothes are literally falling apart. So I’ll do that and then when I have clothes to put on again I’ll try doing some free-writing. While I’m concentrating on clothing myself I will make a point of opening Scrivener every day to read the previous chapters. By the time I’m done rereading what I’ve got so far I should be ready to start writing again and will have the story freshly in my head. I don’t know if it’s a good plan, but at least it’s a plan. If any of you suffer from chronic depression and anxiety you’ll recognize that sometimes just having a plan is a big improvement.
Time to get dressed in my rags and make some better ones.