Another Story Beat
The trouble with writing about yourself, is that you have to wait until your life contains a complete narrative arc that you are far enough away from to have some semblance of artistic distance. It's been a while since I've been able to recognize any such arc in my life.
I moved to a new state, and seven months later got laid off. The job I lost wasn't the best. It was emotionally draining, not intellectually challenging, and not paying me enough. But I had come to terms with the fact that, for at least a while, I would be working this job.
Me and my whole department got laid off in January.
It took a while to get hired by a new job. During the in-between, with nothing on my hands but time, I thought at least I could get some writing done.
I think I wrote five words. In that hazy time filled with Stardew Valley, scrolling on Indeed, and re-runs of She-Ra, I couldn't bring myself to look at any of it. I didn't believe that anyone would want to read what I've written because I didn't want to read it.
A couple days ago, after driving home from a book club I lead with two high schoolers, I suddenly felt like I could do it again. Something about Slaughterhouse Five sent me into action. Something clicked in my brain. A shift from one story beat to the next. I was inspired to write something new.
I previously announced that I had a goal to self-publish by the end of 2023, but I don't think I can anymore. I haven't given up on my book, but I need a break. I have an outline that I could fill in, but it feels stale. This memoir is from college. I know that I finished school just a little over a year ago, but so much has changed. I need to explore my life now before I can go back to old projects.
But it's hard to try new things. It's hard to believe that what I write means anything. I have a hard time trusting that my career is going anywhere. But I'm trying to remind myself that even if no one reads my writing, it means something.
A story written with no one there to read it is still a story told.