During the move up north from Florida, I stopped writing. It was a practical decision, as we had lots to do in very little time, and writing, as much as I loved to do it, was an activity that took up significant chunks of my schedule. At first, it was easy, then I felt the itch here and there, then I went through full-on withdrawal. For years writing has been an integral part of my being, whether I was doing it professionally, for myself, dedicatedly, or sporadically. To find myself being me without writing was a new situation, and I admit I struggled with it. Then something happened: I didn’t care to write anymore.
Just as 2018 was closing, I made an announcement that I would be writing a quarterly zine during 2019. I speedily put together a preview issue for a local zine fest, passed out copies, got enthused about zine culture, made plans. When the date I had chosen for publication of the first issue came around, I got anxious because I had nothing. I bargained with myself that I would make it up and put out two issues back to back, effectively catching up with my quarterly goal in the second quarter of the year. But I still didn’t have anything to publish. I hadn’t written up a thing for the first issue, let alone for the second one. What’s more, one day I had to be honest with myself and accept that I didn’t care to write anything anymore.
In terms of my projects, I am my own worst enemy. I start lots of things, but have problems carrying them to completion. I didn’t want the zine to be another casualty of this behavior, but I just didn’t care. I don’t believe anyone else did, either. I made exactly two sales of the preview issue of the zine, and while I got some nice feedback from a handful of people I know, there was no indication that the zine would make any kind of impact. So I stopped beating myself up about it.
This isn’t about the zine itself, that’s just the most prominent example. What I’m getting at is that I stopped caring about writing. Except I might as well have stopped caring about breathing.
In the last few months, I went through a crucible of sorts, and just now I’m starting to understand what it did to me, and how it changed me. In purging myself of social media for Lent, for example, I finally purged myself of the very toxic environment of the hobby gaming sphere, with the consequence that, while I still am interested in games and actually wrote two micro roleplaying games in the last four months, I no longer participate in any organized or significant way in the gaming community/social community. Writing went through a similar transformation, though I’m just now starting to find out what will emerge on the other side. That I’m writing this at all and publishing it on the blog is a good first step.
Don’t call it a comeback, because I’m not coming back from anything. My name is the same, but this is a brand new world, and I have no idea what words I will craft from here on.