It’s the second Sunday in a row that I’ve been up before 8. The difference is, this weekend I crashed at about 9:30 last night and just slept. Part of that was because I was tired. Part of it was because I have a huge list of stuff to do that I just really didn’t want to deal with. And part of it was because I’m a little down at the moment.
Through recent posts, you may have ascertained that I went to a writer’s retreat. Which is a fancy way to say that fifteen people with a common passion spent one crazy-awesome weekend in a secluded cabin with absolutely no filters. Well…mostly no filters.
I look at some of the posts and if you substitute ‘writer’s retreat’ for ‘first hit of crack cocaine,’ it probably fits. The hyperbole and intense emotions are probably fitting for either scenario. I’m not sure–I’ve never done crack cocaine. And, sidebar, I think you can tell someone’s general age by whether or not they call it “crack” or “crack cocaine.”
Point being, it was very much like a drug-addled mega trip for me. Centers of my brain that hadn’t been active in years (decades?) were firing on all cylinders. The passion for writing was rekindled in such a supportive, incredible, and ultimately unsustainable way.
The love and support of friends (both old and newfound) is a drug. Pure and simple. It goes straight to the brain and heart and makes an expressway between both that allows all the feels to just flood the system. And that’s what the weekend was for me. An amazing rush. I felt myself getting the support of people following this same crazy calling of being a writer.
And it is insane if you think about it. I mean, most of the people in the world have a hard enough time dealing with the actual real world that they are facing. Finding their roles in this crazy life difficult enough to play. So what do writers do? We make up new worlds, with new characters who also basically find themselves going bananas trying to make things work. It’s a crazy affliction. And I hope to god they never find a cure for it, because there are days when going in to that world is the only thing that makes it possible for me to deal with this one.
This drug. This amazing, amazing #BREEISLOVE/Rage Bacon/Love Pancakes drug had a pretty good long high.
Somewhere about Wednesday, though, it hit me. I wasn’t there. The safety of the retreat was now a memory. I had to re-engage the filters. I was again interacting with people who didn’t understand that when I talked about killing someone, it was for plot advancement-not because I was a raging lunatic (I mean, I may be crazy–but there’s no evidence of that yet). Or that my theories of governments being controlled by large international multi-conglomerates was actually for a story and not some bonkers conspiracy theory roaming around in my head (I mean it actually IS that, but it’s much easier to bury that in a fictional story at this point).
I’m not going to apologize for the over the top posts. If there was too much saccharine narrative for you, then I hope your medical benefits include Dental. Those posts were fueled by emotion and love for these people that I call a family. But I know now that I was still high from the weekend as I posted them. The reality of the world around me has again dulled the brilliant colors and the sheen of bullshit that surrounds this plane has again taken its place. Like most addictions, it has left me wanting more. More of that. I have already marked on my calendar when the next Retreat is. I definitely won’t be missing it, good Lord willin’ and the creek don’t rise.
I’m not sad because I think that the meaning and depth of all of the interactions and events of the weekend were imagined or over-glorified in my slightly obsessive brain bucket. No, I’m sad because I am back to feeling slightly isolated. Granted, most of it is self-imposed–I own that. Most days I just don’t want to actually physically want to be around people (and yet, I crave that connection–how fucked up is that?).
I went up to Ashland yesterday for another meeting/workshop of the North Central Ohio Writers group. I gained some valuable tips on publishing, editors, agents, and how not to screw shit up when I actually do finish one of the 3 books that are on my works-in-progess list. So that part was cool. I do feel included when I’m there. I feel accepted now, and not so much like the weird guy that comes up from Columbus that I felt like at first. There are times, though, when I see how strong their group is and it clicked for me why the Writer’s Retreat was so intense.
Because they truly ARE family. They plan their weeks around getting together and hanging out. And I’m a bit envious of that. As much as I feel a part of the meetings and events, I know that geography will prevent me from being a part of the family to that extent. And maybe they’re breathing a sigh of relief. I have my moments of weirdness–although I’m sure I’m not going to ever hit the level of creepy that a couple of the attendees to some of the workshops have hit. The 80 minute one-way drive makes things like meeting up at Panera after work a little impossible or at least highly improbable. So, forging those deeper bonds are by proxy more difficult. That’s probably another thing that made the weekend so special. Geography was taken out of the mix.
I mean, I get it. Writing is a very intensely personal act in itself. And at this point in my life, maybe it’s a means to escape. I don’t really know how I want my ‘real world’ life to be right now, if I’m being honest. I’m still very much trying to sort that shit out. I have my routine of work…binge watch a series on Netflix..make poor dietary decisions on a regular basis…hang out with friends every now and then.
I guess that’s what made the weekend (and the times I’ve gone to Ashland for workshops) so good–I didn’t have to acknowledge that reality. I could paint the picture of how great things were and how, because I didn’t have a spouse, or a young child, or any other commitments like that, that I had ALL this time to myself to write.
It’s a weird headspace that I’m in right now (I keep typing “write now” when I mean to type “right now”–pretty sure my subconscious is trying to send me a message). I apologize for the dose of melancholia this early on a Sunday, but it’s stuff that was floating in my head and I knew I needed to purge it. Sometimes, if I’m being honest, this blog is really not about you or for you at all. It’s for me to do a brain dump of the good, bad, and the ugly floating around in my noggin. I have to keep the pipes clear for when the Muse decides to fires up the pneumatic vacuum tubes and shoot me something to write about with a hearty >FWOOMP<.
And with that, I need to go write now right now.