“Just Do It”

I have been wishing more and more that I was able to write as fluidly as I did a decade ago. I look at books coming out and am in awe of authors that “just do it” (as Nike says). I think about taking that approach and I know that it is not sustainable for me.

I read a book by Kay Redfield Jamison that talked about the artistic temperament and bipolar disorder and was struck by how many people in history have been afflicted with this disease and still managed to write. It gives me hope, but also provides a cautionary tale, as so many of them succumbed to their disease.

I have always distinctly identified with Sylvia Plath. I have even had some of my work compared to hers. However, her tale serves me with the understanding that keeping going when I am unwell is not going to end well for me. It also makes me understand that writing without concern for long-term sustainability is not good for me either. I have learned this, not only from my readings, but also from my personal life (my therapist likes to remind me of it, as well).

As I sit here, my mind is overwhelmed by simple stimuli and I am exhausted. I know it is just after midnight, but I just woke up from a bad dream and going back to bed is not an option right now. So, I am writing and drinking coffee.

I often compare my current self to my college self and get really disappointed by my lack of productivity in my present experience and the fact that I have not achieved some of the goals that I made for myself at that time. I wanted to have a book published by the time I was 30, then it was 32… Now, I just hope to (one day) write a book and have it published.

I am 33 and feel like life is slipping away from me. Combining it with all of my physical symptoms and my mental health issues, I am uncertain that I will ever achieve my goals. I just hope to keep going long enough to achieve some form of publication. To be honest, I feel as though my goals are impossible and I am afraid I will never be able to “just do it.”

This is something that I have had to grapple with repeatedly over the past 6 years. I have brilliant moments (usually in the beginning stages of mania) and then crash and cannot write for months at a time. I have the first few chapters of a book written and then get blocked. I am facing this now. I have made up my time with writing poetry, but even then, I wonder if I will be able to do it for long and some days, I cannot write at all.

It is amazing how turning the mind toward accepting these facts has allowed me to start thinking of other options. The poetry is something that I never took seriously, even though I took poetry classes. I am hoping to keep going in poetry. I am hoping to find a method of writing fiction again that does not drain me and leave me an emotionally drained wreck. I just haven’t figured it out, yet. In the meantime, I will continue to write poetry and blog here.

I will “just do it.”


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