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8.12.2011

I Can't Do It

In many ways, blogging every day is much easier than being irregular. I got into the daily rhythm of observing and thinking about the events of the day so I could write. I calculated the time and when I'd squirrel away an hour to write and post. I enjoyed the results of having a daily journal about life here with the boys. When I stopped, thinking I'd use the same time to plug away on my novel, I didn't realize just how different that was.

My latest novel is complex and sprawling and trying to accomplish many things through character, setting, plot and theme. Switching it on and off is not easy. I have to be swept away into a strange alternate future that is hard to imagine because it is so different from how we live and see the Earth now, and an unknowable universe on a sub quantum scale that I am pioneering by considering several cutting edge particle theories to create my own theory of gravity and the beginning of the time. On top of that, I'm integrating religious and political themes throughout. It's ambitious to say the least, perhaps even too much of a reach for my abilities as a writer. No wonder blogging is often more fun.

Add into the mix all the upkeep of raising the boys and a rebirth of my career as a silversmith and it's too much. No wonder I go to bed at 3 am and feel groggy all the next day until 6. What should I sacrifice to make it work better? My marriage? The kid's well being? The flutes that pay the bills? The writing career i spent so many years reaching for? I made a promise, a commitment, to make sure the boys got through these tough years successfully. I'm finally discovering myself as a true artist in silver and have some paying jobs to explore them in my own creative way and I have a publisher and agent that look forward to what I write next. But I simply can't do it all and it frustrates the hell out of me. I don't want to climb Everest or run the 10 minute mile. I don't mind that outside of my household I have no social life. But my creative world is exploding with ideas all around me and I can't catch them all. They are backing up in piles on my desk and in my mind and all I can think of is taking a nap to clear my head so I can concentrate on just one of them.

Today, after writing this, is already mapped out with kids and cleaning right up until 10 tonight when I have to choose which venture I will spend my precious few quiet hours on. No wonder I can't sleep.

So the novel suffers. I spent so many years writing unpublished books and scripts to finally make it and get books in print. Now seven years have passed since then. What became of the start of that career(I mean, besides the dirty little secret that every writer knows: there's little or no money in it for 90% of writers). It seems to have sifted like sand through my fingers one grain at a time. I still have some left in my hands. Can I hold onto it, turn it into something, make it grow? At this point I have no flippin' idea. That's how far removed from it I've become.

This isn't a self pity tirade, it's a wake up call. "Bum-pahDah-Dummm! I can't do it all!" There, I said it. "Hello, my name is John and I am a do-it-all-aholic. I'm not Superman, I'm not young, I'm not crazy (well, a little bit, but still...), and if I don't make some serious choices, I will drive myself mad, become addicted to chocolate and have to check myself into a Toblerone clinic."

In reality the choices are made. My day is full of the things that get done, whether they are what I wanted to accomplish or not. Now it's time to live with that.

I wonder if Hershey's does home delivery?