November 15th, 2010

Are You Sure?

Mondaily with apology

I owe you.

Whether you are one 'my' artists and fellow-collaborators, or 'just' a reader of my blog, one of my customers, or one of my subscribers, a friend, or some beautiful combination of those, I owe you a big fat apology.

My head? Is not in the game right now. I'm not sure how long I've been going through the motions without passion, but it's probably pretty obvious once you're outside my scalp and skull.

Every day, I stare at my projects, cringe at my studio, and I consider closing down my webpages en mass.

I do not, after thought, because of guilt. Because I feel like I owe it to the people who have gotten involved over the years, to keep these projects steaming forward with smiling optimism, capital investment, and unwavering loyalty, even though I have become cynical about involvement, bitter about my work-to-reward ratio and my well of selfless devotion to the cause has run dry and has been sucking at the bottom like a straw in an empty cup.

If that's not a recipe for self-destructive, dead-end burnout, then I don't know what is. The only way I could make this worse is to hide in a corner and let the projects accordion into a trainwreck of delays and flustered disorganization.

Oh... wait.

I do not, after a great deal of soul searching, owe anyone my sanity.

I do owe you transparency, honesty, communication, and prompt service when I've agreed to it, and, this last week in particular, I have failed at that. I am sorry, and am endeavoring to catch up today. I have, in fact, already made some good inroads this morning and am not stopping yet...

I also owe it to myself to stop being a blithering idiot and cut out the things in my life that cause me nothing but grief and stress and guilt. I owe it to myself to do things that I need to do. I owe it to my husband not to throw money and time at a dying project that doesn't even bring me mental reward any longer while he supports and encourages me by working fulltime.

This week, one at a time, I will be going through my outstanding projects and figuring out where they stand, how much work they will take to get up to steam, and making a plan of attack. That plan of attack may include massive trimming of features, major re-design of function, re-allocation of work, or a quick, painless death in a dark room.

I welcome your input and ideas, as I go through this process. Audience enthusiasm is an excellent fuel, and honestly, the lack of this has been a serious dent in my own energy. I am totally willing to shoulder my own fault in that - I have not always nurtured what enthusiasm I have received as well as I needed to so as to sustain it. But I'm also not going to struggle forward to build tools and offer services that no one wants to actually use. Duh.

Tomorrow, in the spotlight, will be EMG-Zine. (As a reminder, we need submissions for our January issue. The theme is creation: This can be birth, artistic creation, building something... lots of wiggle room in this theme!)


Perhaps surprising, I do not feel the slightest bit of guilt for my writing this month, and continue to chisel away at my wordcount. This novel has been tremendously good for me, wherever I take it from here. It has been mine, for me, at every stage, and has served as an anchor of discipline in a period of stress and upheaval. Getting my words down has been cathartic, and kept me on track, and given me something to feel good about accomplishing, where most everything else has been stacked and layered with guilt for not doing more or better. It's my first novel, and I'm allowed - nay, encouraged! - to suck... and that's tremendously freeing. What's more, I have a nagging feeling that there's a good novel in here, and that I might actually discover it.

38724 / 50000 words. 77% done!