One of the things I love the most about writing is that it can basically happen at any time. The downside to this, of course, is that you don’t always know what it is you want to say. Lately I’ve had an incredible desire to start stringing words together, and I’ve been trying to chip away at a stale draft sitting by my other fiction. That story, for whatever reason, isn’t able to be told right now. I’m not entirely sure why that is, but that’s not important. What’s important is that it leaves me wanting to write something — anything — to get the energy out of my system and let my brain decompress some of the thoughts that have been piling up recently.

That, in turn, brings us here.

Life in 2017 isn’t turning out to be anything like I expected any time prior to 2017. The sudden shift in the mood everywhere was a palpable force; of course, things change all the time — but this was different. Yes, this is probably a US-centric feeling, but I’m in the US so that’s the only real perspective I’m able to directly consider. That said, plenty of folks I know from all around the world all seem to agree that it’s not entirely confined. Anyway, the real point here is that this wasn’t like any shift before it. The world, and my role in it, have changed plenty of times during my time here. Most of them, though, were just things that happened, and then they were done. There’s a completeness to that repeated storyline that resonates with the way our minds conceive reality, time, and our own existence.

Once something is done, it’s done. There are ways, of course, to repair damage to many things, to repay debts or adapt to the changes that come from these moments. What you can’t do is continue living in a world where that, whatever it is, hasn’t happened. Now, though, we have an ongoing nonstop flood of change that’s impacting no small number of people I know, and large numbers of those I don’t. It’s not a single event that snaps a piece of the world we knew and is gone, but an onslaught of new rules to play by that are redefining the game of life in America and elsewhere.

Back to our point, though; all of this activity and the flood of information keeps my brain busy. There’s always something happening, and a whole lot of it is stuff that I think it’s relatively important to keep aware of. The things happening in this country demand, if nothing else, the attentions of its citizens, and in more cases than not, their actions. That means my thoughts have a lot less idle time throughout the day — which cuts into all the time I’d normally be planning out possible story arcs to myself, trying to find out where the tale I plan to tell is headed.

There’s a measure of doubt, too; doubt that anyone even wants to read what I’d be writing, doubt that it’s worth putting any of my time into. Yet still, there’s that urge that wells up. That’s the whole reason I got a blog to begin with; it wasn’t about writing fanciful stories or even trying to make any sort of pseudo-intellectual dive into politics, philosophy, or whatever else I’ve stumbled across in that time. It wasn’t about digging out my own gender identity and revealing it to the world, or about trying to convince anyone that I had anything intelligent to say. It was about relieving the pressure that builds up in my thoughts.

So, of course, when I’m trying to direct that energy into a coherent narrative of any kind, it’s best to let the thoughts run free and find their own paths. That’s how I’ve always done my writing; whether it was poetry, short stories, essays for classes, or the meandering musings here on the blog. When all of my mental focus is devoted to my job (which does require a certain portion, if I plan on succeeding) and the rampant goings-on that are shaping the world around me, it’s hard to find time to allow for those free-floating thoughts.

I do hope to, at some point, get back to working on some kind of story. I’ve even played around with the idea of simply taking the first story that I posted here and doing a complete rewrite of it. Maybe that’s lazy, but maybe it’s just real-time open-access editing; I could change some pieces of the story, adjust the tone of my writing. Or I can just turn back here and just word-vomit something like this, a stopgap measure to keep my creative skills alive in the midst of the world seeming to crumble around me.

I’m not used to feeling this worried all the time.

That’s a privilege, I know, and it’s one that I’ll admit I’d taken for granted. Whatever things I’ve thought were struggles in the past — well, they were struggles, but not on a scale that was important to very many people on a community-level scale. I’ve never been a wildly social person, or one who had a profound impact on much of anything. But I was always relatively sure that, barring my own idiotic choices at certain times, I was going to be generally okay. Life would go on. Now, so much is changing about me and the world that I’m not always so sure, and it’s exhausting.

But I still want to do it. I want to write stories and create worlds where not everything seems so screwed up all over the place. I want to create optimistic characters and build narratives of hope and good things. I’ll get to it, at some point, but right now I just needed to get things moving again by coming back to the only reason I’ve ever really had for writing before. I hope that I’ll be back to the other things soon.

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