Some days I rather feel as though my life motto should just be, “Life is going to throw shit at you. Write anyway.”
And my attempts to puzzle out the logistics of this have led to this post!
Ergo, a boho bookslut’s miniature guide to both writing and life! (As if there were any difference between the two.)
1. Life isn’t perfect. Your writing environment won’t be, either.
Get over it and work anyway.
Recently, I have had to start coming to terms with the fact the writing environment — life, really — that I personally want more than most anything may not ever happen. And while I certainly do still want to live in some giant crazy boho commune of creative folk and feel as though I would thrive there, maybe this is for the best.
If my life had gone the way I would have preferred, my writing would not be at all what it is today, and I can’t say that it would have been any better. And if I get the chance to make one of the two good, I would honestly much rather it be my art, so!
2. Maybe I can’t control everything I’d like to bring into said environment, but I can sure as hell control what I keep out. And I will not have negativity.
The crux of my writing is this: There is dirt. There is filth. There is so much fucking filth. But you can still find beautiful things buried inside of it too, if you just know how to look, and they are all the more lovely for the secrecy and contrast. (I suppose you would call me a very romantic realist, or some such thing.)
Therefore, while I don’t want any rose-coloured glasses, I also don’t want negativity. I will not have it creeping into my work. I want said work to say, “Sure, things may well be shite — but what are you going to get or make out of this that’s pretty and good?”
This means that, for me, the apparent therapist to everyone I know, that for the first time ever I am going to have to start setting boundaries. Oh, I’ll still drop everything to help out with others’ major life explosions and suchlike, of course, but if it’s a choice between listening to someone just whinge pointlessly about some minor annoyance or spending the time putting out some work with an actually positive impact instead…
I can’t really justify “me time”, but put it like that, and I can begin to at least justify “writing time”. I don’t really see that I have too much of a choice. (There is no Option C, incidentally — listening while still writing unaffected by their mood. I’m an incurable emotional leech, which works out wonderfully for being empathic but not very much else.)
3. Have a safe spot. A happy place. Virginia Woolf’s room of one’s own. Whatever suits you best, so long as you have it and you put it to good use.
And perhaps most importantly, keep one in your own mind, as well.
Because if you don’t have at least some sort of vague hope for the world, then why would you work to leave something behind for it in your words?
In short, fuck that noise, calm the hell down, and make something beautiful instead. ♥