Your Mission, Should You Choose To Accept It

A while ago, I had the artist’s equivalent of a crisis of faith. I thought about my efforts as a writer and wondered WHY. My work seemed so unnecessary compared to that of teachers and engineers. I wished I had decided to be a computer programmer, since the constant development of technology means there will always be something for them to do.

And being constantly reminded that there are no new stories (which, in a very basic sense, is true) did not help.

I just thought about things that were wrong with the world, and the different types of suffering that afflicts people, hunger, diseases, overcrowding, trauma… and I wished I were someone who visibly helped alleviate it. I felt guilty for having a life’s calling that connected more to luxury than survival.

I no longer question that there is a purpose to literature. The value of writing is undeniable, although it seems less and less appreciated by the world at large as the internet continues to create ever more misinformed and illiterate generations…

But I have been wondering what the point of ME is. I haven’t worked on writing at all in weeks now. I can’t even take the time to come out with a miniscule little one-sentence microfiction. I could blame it on my malfunctioning “m” key, but that really isn’t the main problem. And whatever happened to those full days of writing I was going to have? I was so excited about them.

And the thing is, when I do look back over certain projects, like the first two chapters of the Helen of Troy novel I have posted on the tab entitled “Helen” (go read if you haven’t) or the Another Life series, I know they’re good. If I could get off my ass (not literally, as I usually sit while writing) and just translate the ideas in my head onto the screen of the computer, I would be so much closer. I have some ideas for how to get my motivation back, but those methods lie beyond my control. So, anyone have any ideas – OTHER than just sitting down and writing every day, which does not work for me for very long – I might use to get my creative juices flowing?

Near-Crisis

Today I had a moment of panic, similar to the experiences of many writers, I’m sure.

I had looked in every place I could think to look, and I still could not find the flash drive anywhere.

Most of the files on this flash drive are ones of which I have copies on my computer. The ones that aren’t, I wouldn’t be too sad to lose – EXCEPT for my book of myths, The Krishnaverse Through Their Mouths.

I would not have lost all of my work, as I have printed copies and the original files on my computer and external hard drive. However, as of now I’m fairly certain that the revised versions of the stories exist only on this particular flash drive.

After all of the time I spent editing the stories, improving them I can’t even say how much, I would be devastated to have to do it all over again. While a writer can remember basic plotlines and recreate them if necessary, I very much doubt I’d be able to replicate the language I spent so much time perfecting – that’s not to say that it’s perfect, but… well, some of it is. Perfect. And certainly some of the stories need a bit more work before they’re actually published, but they’re so much closer to finished in the revised versions than they were in the original, it’s almost astounding sometimes. I’ve been so proud of what this project has turned into, and to have all that work come to almost nothing would have hurt me.

I managed to avert catastrophe, however, so I suppose all is well. I searched the same places over and over, started crying in frustration, and finally found the flash drive on the floor behind a plastic shelving unit on wheels. I’m immensely relieved, but I can’t help thinking, “What if I hadn’t found it?” I don’t know what I would have done.