Saturday, July 23, 2016

Creativity and the Current Temp: 105F and 40C

Hi, folks. We have hit the high temps of the summer. The next four weeks are going to be brutal. It is so hot outside I can feel the wall of heat pushing into the house.

I'm struggling as a creative person right now. When the temp goes up, so does the pressure in a closed system.

I am feeling the pressure, and I think I'm cracking.

I thought I could do this story thing. I thought I could be an author, but it looks like that is not in the cards for me. I got another rejection with glowing praise for my writing followed by sizzling barbs about my inability to tell a story. My plot is just not, in the publishing professional's opinion, you know, worth a hill of beans. Not news to me.

I keep hoping that I might gain wings and take to the sky in a beautiful way, but I am a ridiculous caterpillar who sprouted tiny wings that will never lift anything. Dang.

My big problem? I can't imagine not writing, but I find my publishing career has crashed. I'm sifting through the wreckage. I know I sound depressed, and you're right. I've had major depression for a while. I'm getting help, but it looks like this is the new normal. Here is the question that haunts me. Why did I ever think I could capture an audience? I've never been the star of the show. I'm a little worker bee. Not the type who receives fanfare.

The worker bee is tired. Persistence makes sense to me, but whatever I'm doing is more of an epic delusion. The doors of publishing have been closed to me for several years. I've tried to reinvent myself through self-publishing.  CHICKENS DON'T TAKE OVER HALLOWEEN was a fun experience but it didn't lead me toward my goal.

So what am I seeking?

I'd like to be in a place where I turn out a book a year to a group of happy fans who buy enough books that I don't have to score essays anymore. I'd like to have few (4 or 5) speaking gigs in the spring and the fall. I'd like to be paid to do the work with teens that I do.  Modest goals and yet they might as well be Everest.

To end, I have a request. I rarely ask this, but all my friends who read this blog, send up prayers and thoughts that I could become untangled about my creative life.

I hope that you find creative vision.  I hope you keep working under pressure despite the heat.

I will be back next week with more of my rambling.

Here is a doodle.

"For you will still be here tomorrow, but your dreams may not." Cat Stevens


Trudi Trueit said...

Molly, I know it's hard not to measure your accomplishments with anything other than the yardstick of professional success. We all do it, and feel the sting of not measuring up. Sometimes, I wonder, why does this so-so book get so much attention, while this other book filled with beautiful themes and exquisite prose gets barely acknowledge at all? I don't have an answer. I only know that as writers, we must follow our hearts, contribute our verse, and nurture each other as best we can. The rest is out of our hands. Here's to you, my friend - you are touching the world in more ways than you know.

Vijaya said...

Aw Molly, your worth as a writer cannot be measured by contracts, though this world does that, I know, and it's hard when people don't get it. The fact that you can't imagine doing anything else tells me you are meant to write. I think I will always write as well because like the guy in Chariots of Fire, God feels our pleasure when we do what we love doing. Having read a number of your manuscripts, I am thankful to have had the chance. Sending you love and prayers to keep writing the stories that matter to you. God will open the doors when it's time. And something to keep in mind is that perhaps a particular story has served its purpose. Maybe the agent or editor was the one who needed to read it.

Janet Lee Carey said...

Molly, yes to sending prayers your way while this stifling heat is pressing down on you, and while you're also feeling so low. The writing life is hard. Especially when our stories don't go where we want them to go. And closed doors hurt. I agree with Trudi and with Vijaya, you are touching so many people already, more than you know. I stand behind you and your writing, loving your tales -- you know I do -- and will hope for you while your hope is burning low. I'm glad you ended this post by saying what you want. Defining that has power. May the cooling waters come. May hands lift you up. I am with you.

Janet Lee Carey said...

P.S. Molly,

You might have already read the Creative Conversation this month on Dreamwalks between me and Janni lee Simner, but if not, please stop by

Molly/Cece said...

Hi, Trudi, I am a writer. That is just the way I am shaped. I can't figure anything else out. I know I need to put away the stinking yardstick. I struggle with comparing myself to others and complaining. Not my most beautiful traits. I am working on them, day by day. I like that you say that I should write the stories that matter to me. This is so comforting. I will. Thank you for taking time to write me such a meaningful note.

Molly/Cece said...

Vijaya! Thank you for reminding me of that Chariots of Fire quote. So wonderful. I am clinging to that thought. I appreciate your prayers. The word pleasure so resonates with me. I will give my all.

Molly/Cece said...

Hi Janet, I read the blog. It stirred something up in me. My second thing next to writing is helping others find their way. It's like there this place inside me where I can see what another creative person can a achieve wholly free of whatever I do. That's why the blog exists. Maybe I should revisit the idea of drawing something out of the blog that folks could read, like an ebook. Does that ring in you? I feel like I could help.

Janet Lee Carey said...

Molly, I've wanted you to do that for a long time. Yes!!
Darcy Pattison and Janni Lee Simner have created writing craft books seeded by earlier blog posts. I have Janni's first and second book in her "the Writing Life" series, sold as e-books on a number of platforms.

Molly, you have shared so much on this blog. You have unique insights, humor, and ideas along with powerful, helpful words on writing process and craft. If you want to do this, I think it would be a worthy project. Let's talk.