Blogposting for me can be tricky.
For some others it’s seemingly as easy as pie, with regular ruminations scattering to the four corners of the world to impress and delight. For me, it’s not a question about what to talk about, it’s more about a question of having something to say that’s not boring, contrived or unoriginal. I’m an individual, and my voice is unique, but it’s all too easy to be a mirror of others when you undervalue yourself, as I tend to. My self-esteem has always been critically low, a result of childhood abuse and mental health problems, so self-expression can sometimes be an arduous trial instead of joyous articulation. I am constantly questioning the value of what I do post or publish, wondering if my voice truly counts or matters in the world.
I should be happy with an audience of one. Any more would be a bonus. Trouble is I don’t even know if a single one is paying any attention and if they are, whether or not what they behold is of any value to them.
I paint, draw, sculpt, write, and express myself through myriad other techniques and processes. Trouble is I haven’t painted in six months. I haven’t drawn in ten. I haven’t sculpted in over a year. Instead I’ve been concentrating on writing. I’ve just finished my third novel for this year, and am in that post-creation malaise of confusion, exhaustion and emptiness haunted by cravings of painting, drawing, sculpting or writing but too fatigued to do any of them. I need to paint. I desperately need to draw, but my sickness kills any chance I have to do these things because on picking up the pencil or paint brush, I become so agitated and then lethargic, I have to lie down. It’s a cruel curse I labour under, made all the more malevolent because I am increasingly having to look upon my creativity as my means of earning a living. I can work, but not in workplace conditions, which limits employment opportunities. I haven’t earned anything of substance in nearly two years, relying on welfare to keep me alive, but that welfare is fast running out.
I’m scared. I live with a family member who generously helps me, but with no income, even from welfare, they may not be able to afford to keep me, and there’s nowhere else to go except the street.
The traditional wisdom runs that whatever doesn’t kill you makes you stronger, but with mental health, I am the rock being eroded by water. It’s not killing me as such, but it’s wearing me down, and left long enough, it will wear me out. Resisting it is not making me stronger, it’s thinning me down.
I guess this means if I don’t post for periods of time, it’s either because I’m concentrating what resources I do have on my fiction writing or art, or I’m sitting in a corner rocking back and forth while staring horrified at the wall. I’d prefer to not be doing the latter, and writing certainly is therapeutic enough to help prevent it from happening, but if I can’t earn a crust somewhere soon, I will lose access to my writing tools and probably faculties at the same time.
I wonder if I could earn a living by writing?