Work (actual work, not the work of writing; i don't mean to imply that writing isn't work, quite the opposite, i only mean to distinguish between the work i want to do -- writing -- and the work i don't want to do -- all other work. got it?) must begin again in earnest on Monday. Bleh. I have spent almost two full weeks in a sort of trial run for the possible (eventual? fantastical?) time in my life when I'll do nothing but read and write. As with any hiatus from bleh work, my "real" work (writing) opens up, expands, gathers its strength, its speed. Whole characters appear out of nowhere, a plot thread reveals itself to me. Short stories no longer glimmer in the distance but can be realized, tightened, tuned.
In my reading and writing state, I realize:
I like myself like this
I am most myself like this
I prefer to do this above all else
Why oh why don't I do this above all else?
The mortgage, food, basic needs
This is why artist's colonies exist
This is what writer's retreats are all about
Should check into those further, get some apps
Must I really go back to work? Really?
I am not alone, I suspect, in my loathing to leave this state behind and plunge back into the world of work and clients and deadlines and the required pacifism, patience and forced pleasantries that will ensue. After two weeks of reading & writing, I've developed a routine that I'm loathe to change. I've begun writing in a way that has inspired more writing. I'm not eager to fiddle with the state of things. But I've got no choice.
And so, to stave off the vagaries of bleh work, to protect myself from the harmful prodding of it all, I will once again take up my super secret literary shield and go back out into the world. Invisible to others, known only to me, it will serve as an insulating barrier between me and "it" so that I can focus on my real work without interruption, without delay. So that I may, in the words of Joseph Campbell, remain on a higher plain whilst working on a lower one. Or...something like that.
The problem, I've noticed, is that the shield wears over time. Little pinpricks of workish irritation creep in, deleting key pieces of the lit balm, eliminating whole sections of my personal ozone. I've not yet identified a solution, a way to keep the shield intact. Suggestions welcome.
(In the spirit of full disclosure: As Ms. Counterbalance typically writes fiction, she has taken creative license with her red hair by making it fictionally longer, brighter. She has also given herself sparkling green eyes, which she always secretly wanted. She does not own a green sweater like that and she certainly does not know how to apply eye-makeup like that. She can't, for that matter, determine when or where she might have a need to do so. She does, however, possess that exact shade of lipstick, so, there's that. Truth in art after all.)