If there's one thing I've learned about my life this past year, it's that until I become a writer for a living, I'm going to be quietly and abjectly miserable deep within my pseudo-soul. (It's a well known fact amongst my friends that I don't have a soul, so I either borrow from naive children, purchase off ebay, or just stick with a faux one that's far more durable)
Writing isn't just my penultimate goal to achieve in my lifetime, but it's gotten into my blood, no matter how hard my practical side has tried to overrule it. It's my fixation, my addiction, my passion, and all I've ever done in my life, it seems, is stifle it because of how "important" everything else makes itself: school, family, survival. Survival is the big one. I can't side-step it, and only over the past two years has it reached the point that it consumes all else. I work 40+ hours a week doing tech support, and I think it's going to kill me if I can't at least get back to the relative safe-haven of school.
At least when I'm at school, I can think. I can pick up new bits of ideas everywhere, even when I'm only bored and half-attentive as I tend to be in my math classes. At work, I can't think much anymore. I get tangled up in playing my part: nice-ing people into submission, solving their technical issues as well as making them love their products and my employers again, factoring in their competency and their software versions and how likely they are to have an internet connection, parsing my words so as to make my overlords blameless and sacrosanct, and generally being a tad entertaining as well as competent. It's a juggling act that has become exhausting, especially given that I'm an introvert, and one of my catchphrases is "I hate people."
But I need this job to pay rent. I need to pay rent so that I don't have to live with either of my parents, which will drive me insane and kill either myself, or one/both of them, because I can't stand my family.
My roommate and I, you see, get along because we are the sanest (read: crazy in the good way*) people in each other's worlds, more's the pity. There's also the fact that we're both rather fiercely loyal, practical, and have been miraculously able to stand each other this long.
Of course, she can't stand me when I'm in writer-mode, but I think I've worked out why.
I've not been able to really spread my wings as a writer. There's always been something else in the way, not by my choice, either, really. So every time she's seen me lose touch with reality and just writewritewrite and then had to deal with how surly, disconnected, and foggy-brained I've tended to be––it's because I've been starving for it. It's always been desperate, and because I use up all of my energies everywhere else all week/month/bloody-year, by the time I can't escape a compulsive need to write something, anything, I crash and burn into the keyboard and there's nothing left of me but smoke until I've managed to sleep it off.
If I could treat my writing as something other than background noise to my survival, that wouldn't happen. If I had the time to boost my mind and my energy level with books, research, documentaries, good movies, and all of the other things I need in order to fuel the idea-machine in the back of my brain with in order to write what I want to write... by God, I'd be incandescently brilliant to hang around.
Of recent, due to my current lifestyle, I think I alternate between ADD and nonsensical, dead as a doornail, and quietly restless and bored––always: when lounging about at home, when with a few good friends, and even in public social situations. I'm not sure I'd want to hang out with me.
So I've been smothering myself slowly because it's been better than jumping off a cliff into the maelstrom that is living with my family, I think.
You know what I also think, though?
I think it's time to take control.
I'm better than this, and if there's one thing I know I'm capable of, it's pulling myself up by my bootstraps.
And what's that Warren Ellis quote? "Writer's block? I've heard of this. This is when a writer cannot write, yes? Then that person isn't a writer anymore. I'm sorry, but the job is getting up in the fucking morning and writing for a living."
It's about damned time I started working my ass off to be a writer. I've certainly no hope of becoming anything else. Not that I'm not capable of it, but the thought of doing anything else has always made me feel vaguely ill, wondering, "but when will I be able to fit writing in?"
My dear flatmate wants to make two-year plans that will culminate in the two of us saving up a good deal of money, and proceeding to spend a year in London. While I'm at it, why not make my own side-plans?
Get back to school, and proceed to dive headlong into both literature and history studies. Time to flood my brain with the information I want, the stuff that actively fascinates and thrills me, not cold facts I need in order to fix a bloody smartphone.
I need to get out of this place. So that's just what I'll do.
My thanks to Neil Gaiman for his presence at w00tstock, and his signing my sleeve, helping solidify my final determination in this matter. The man in front of me in line knew him, you see, and I realized that Mr. Gaiman spoke to him like a writer, and I was still just a fan.
I realised, in a blazing moment of clarity, that I want to be more than that. I want the writers I love to hear about my stories someday, when I've a few of them out there and published under my name. And I want them to read them. And I want to run into them sometime, and talk about what we've all written. I want to be on the same level as my heroes. Why else would they be my heroes, if I did not aspire to be at least a bit like them?
I will be a writer. Fuck everything else.