Sunday, February 22, 2009

Ice heavy on my branches

I've got the late winter blues. About this time of year, when other places where we've lived are experiencing the first signs of spring, the cold grip of winter starts getting to me. I find myself questioning the wisdom of my decisions - such as ... someday we'll be moving to someplace where winter is longer. It's not that I don't like winter - I do - but winter comes with extra weight that bogs me down. Physically and metaphorically.

So I sit here with the little cursor thingy going blink blink blink. Where am I going with this? Where am I going?

I guess I'm sort of at a crossroads with my life. Wondering where to invest my time. This week I got some disappointing news in my "other"  writing life. Not that I didn't expect it, but it still stung the same as if it came as a surprise. I'm not good enough. That's what the little voice was saying. Oh, I've tried to put on a brave show - but I'm sort of shocked at how much this has shaken me. 

And then I come up on the whole duality thing. I can't really talk about that part of my life here and I can't really talk about this part of my life there. Though they blend together in me, they are still separate to most of those outside of me. So I start wondering how far I want to go - with either.

I wonder how those of you who've been doing this for awhile handle the ... longing - to share successes and talk about what you're up to, when some of the people you'd like to talk to about this "don't know." How the hell do you do it?

In a way I've gotten used to being ignored in my "other" writing life - to an extent I guess. I do get some chances to talk about it - not the bragging "guess what I did" type but honest discussions of what it means to write - but often I get the feeling that the people I'm closest too don't "get it" and so I just shut up. Maybe we all do this. I don't know.

Now I've got this erotica thing - and while it feels wonderful to be finally allowing this part of myself to have a voice - it seems I've added a complication (in a way) to - blink blink blink - damn cursor - to being the "whole" person I want to be. Not sure if any of this is making sense.

What's happening is more and more I'm finding I have to bite my tongue in conversations because I realize the person I'm talking to doesn't know about this part of my writing life. And see? I can't even talk about what it really is about here - because ... because why? Because I do put a value on privacy. For my family, for me, for my friends. But writing tends to strip away that. Or it does if you want to share your writing. If I just wrote and shoved everything in a drawer I guess it wouldn't be a problem. 

So, guess I need to work this out somehow. I don't want to give up ANY of the parts of my life that make me whole. But it's complicated. And it weighs me down.


Neve Black said...

Gosh, Robin I'm sorry. I have the same winter blues. I'd rather drive to winter and experience it then have it land on my door step, I suppose, but I grew up on a beach in Calif and somehow landed in what often feels like the arctic.

As far as the other icicles on your branches...hmmm..I think you'll come to terms with that when you're ready. Like everything else in life, you'll just know and you'll make decisions that will point you one way or another, or have conversations with certain people, or not when you're ready. I think that's the key. YOU have to feel okay about it.

That's one of the reasons the blogosphere is a good place to connect with other people and more importantly, other writers that share your passion.

Let's face it, we writers are an odd bunch. Not everyone understands. I understand. I think there's a big group of us out here that understand.

Personally, I feel most comfortable and somehow gravitate toward other like-minded people. But that's just me and that's how I've learned to deal with my odd and left of the dial behavior. Or for some people, it seems I'm left of center. For me, it seems just right. :-)

Jeremy Edwards said...

I can relate to a lot of these issues around having one's erotica career separate from other parts of one's life. I'm very selective about what people in my life I tell about my erotica, and so there are a lot of people who ask me "what's new?" and get a heavily filtered response. : ) On the other hand, most of the people I haven't told would probably be uninterested in this aspect of my life ... so maybe it's just as well. But it does feel weird sometimes to be so secretive about the thing that's my most important creative activity and outlet.

And because I do also have some little "credits" in other fields, under my real name, there is that disunity to my public credentials. That's a little annoying to me—but, again, I'm not sure how much it really matters.

But I do like privately sharing the other parts of my life with the good friends I make in the erotic-writing scene. Sometimes the other stuff I do is of interest to them, and in any case it's a nice feeling to present a more complete picture of who I am.

Erobintica said...

Neve - thanks. Yeah, we've lived on the beach a couple of times and I loved it. But I know I'd miss some of this too. Oh well.

I know I'll work it out. I always seem to. But it was just so frustrating. And I think that without the support and understanding of the other erotica writers I've "met" - I might be tempted to give up. Don't worry - I won't though - I'm stubborn too. ;-)

Jeremy - ah yes, the "what's new" question. I laugh inside when I say "not much." At least with writing already a part of my known-to-my-friends life I can talk about it in general terms. It is weird to be secretive about something that means so much personally.

I found this statement interesting: "That's a little annoying to me—but, again, I'm not sure how much it really matters." Not sure why - maybe because it's part of what I've been pondering. I guess I'm trying to figure out how much it matters to me.

Thanks again!

Marina said...

Hi Robin -
Wow, you've kind of summed up all of my angst of late! I definitely know what you mean about being at a "crossroads with my life."

I understand about the duality thing, and about trying to keep track of who knows what. It's so unfortunate that some people are so uptight, or at least have a great suspicion, about erotica. Those are the people who are likely to judge, or to make assumptions, about who you are, what you like, and what you do. But, since that's the way it is, I find myself having to be very careful about the whole subject. Most of my family does not know about my writing, and only a select few friends know and are supportive. As it is, my writing has already somewhat had an impact on my marriage and other relationships, and that has been very unfortunate.

But, as I try to step back and take a deep breath (thanks, Emerald, for reminding me to do this!), I do think the truth - my truth - is starting to come out. I've always liked writing, I like writing erotica, and I like the wonderfully supportive community of erotica writers here in blogland. I find a level of comfort here, a freedom of expression, and an opportunity to stretch my skill and imagination that I've not known for a very long time. This works for me and somehow I'm going to keep doing it - damn it! I'm just going to chug away at it, in my own tempo, and see where it goes.

Thanks, Robin, for your thoughtful and thought-provoking post! And, yes, it would a whole lot easier to deal with everything if there was less ice on the branches and more of Craig's beautiful cherry blossoms! Clearly, many of us are ready to be done with winter!

Erobintica said...

Marina, so glad to hear you say I'm just going to chug away at it, in my own tempo, and see where it goes. Though at the same time I'm sorry to hear your writing has had an impact (an unfortunate one) on your life.

It seems we have to find our truth. For some reason I think that when we do find that, everything else falls into place - though maybe that "place" isn't what we expect or even hope for.

Am I making sense or is the chocolate chip cookie I just ate talking?

Janine Ashbless said...

This week I got some disappointing news in my "other" writing life. Not that I didn't expect it, but it still stung the same as if it came as a surprise. I'm not good enough. That's what the little voice was saying. Oh, I've tried to put on a brave show - but I'm sort of shocked at how much this has shaken me. Oh, how familiar that sounds! Right there with you, Robin.

Writing, I think, is an inescapably lonely business. Even if you're in a genre where you can happily boast to your Mum/friends/neighbour that you've got something published, the fact is that people who aren't writers won't get you. I mean, they might say "Well done!" but that's all. They don't really get what it feels like or what you have to go through.

Which is fine - I've no complaints - We're very lucky to live in an era where we can join an online community. Can you imagine what it was like for writers before the internet?

On the other hand, if there wasn't some level at which we are self-contained and willing to live in dialogue with ourselves, we wouldn't write at all. We'd just be out there sinking pints and watching TV.

Erobintica said...

Janine, it is a lonely business writing, but it's also great to connect with other writers, in person or online - I know that it helps me feel less of a freak - there are other people out there whose brains work in similar ways to mine. Not everyone gets all excited about a word or for that matter scribbles in a notebook.

And sometimes in order to get any writing done I have to shut everything off and mentally lock myself away.

Sometimes I wonder if some of those writers that left early would have stuck around longer if they'd had the internet. Interesting thing to think about.

TV? Haven't watched TV in ages!