I find it hard to care, hard to get worked up about much of anything. I wanted to be a writer, and I am, though not a professional one. I’ve written four full books, co-written a novel with my son, I’ve got a greatest hits book, and a book of poetry/lyrics. Apart from the poetry/lyrics book, which sucks, everything is pretty good. I’ve been told my professionals and amateurs alike that I’m pretty good. I’m halfway through a novel, I’m collaborating with a friend on some short stories (In theory. I haven’t actually done anything) I’ve gotten two of my stories in a webzine, though with diddly-spit readership, and no pay for me. Writing is effortless for me. I could easily crank out at least one book a year for the rest of my life.
I don’t want to.
Well, that’s not true. It’s not that I’m opposed to it, it’s just hard for me to get worked up about it. I can’t force myself to sit down and do it. I dunno if it’s anxiety or depression or laziness or pushing fifty, or just a feeling of pressure for the other projects I’m supposed to be doing, but am not.
What other projects? Well, I’ve been putting off finishing my solo album for a couple years now. I’ve let a couple other musical projects with friends die on the vine. I’m supposed to be making videos. I’m not. I’m not doing shit. I’m also supposed to be doing more important stuff, like helping my kid with Florida Virtual Schools, which I…ugh. Computer stuff. I can never do shit with computer stuff. It alternately enrages me or makes me cry. I just got Bey enrolled in French 1 over the summer on FLVS, and they told me how to do it. It took half a day, conversations with three different people, and explicit instructions on how to do it. Now, less than a week later, I can’t figure it out, remember it, or anything. I can’t do anything.
Not being able to do anything technical is nothing new. That’s pretty much my life. Not being able to do anything at all is new, though, and I don’t know what the cause is.
I suspect, however, that it’s a case of having one thing on my plate block the other things. I’m trying to do three, four, five things, when I can really only do one at a time. In which case I should pick one and work on it, but even deciding which one to pick is super-hard.
There’s also the feeling that it just doesn’t matter. When I was younger, even 10 years ago, all this stuff seemed relevant. Now, after having done a lot of it for a decade, I realize no one gives a shit, which makes it hard for me to give one as well.
Take music: I was in one band in college. Many of my friends were in bands before that, after that, etc. My great regret is that my one band from back then, “Technicolor Yawn,” (Which sucked) never recorded anything, either live or in the studio. This is probably for the best, since we super-de-duper-de sucked, but it’s still a regret. My bandmates Whit and Brian went on to a zillion cover bands, which is cool. My bandmate Mark more-or-less gave up music after college. My remaining bandmate claims to have been in another band (The guys in that band deny it ever existed, it’s just one of I__’s delusions).
The bands I’ve been in since then were for the fun and creativity of being in a band, but a large driving part of it was so I could show off to people I knew 25-30 years ago. “Hey, look what I can do!” and “I wasn’t shit back in the day, but I’m pretty good now, or at least interesting.” I’ve never done that, though. I mean, I’m not friends with Whit, or Brian, or I__ or Clive, or Don, or really anyone from those days. What do they care? Other friends that I am still (Infrequently) in touch don’t care either. Fact is: Garage bands are for kids. If you’re not done with them by your mid-30s, you’re either pathetic, or playing “Mustang Sally” over and over and over at Bar Mitzvahs and barbeques for like $50 a gig, which is slightly less pathetic. But only slightly. Everyone but me has put off childish things.
My other endevors are the same to a greater or lesser extent. I should give it up, I should focus on important things, like getting my kids’ damn French class running, but….grr.
I guess I’ll keep on doing what I’ve always done, which is being creative for no audience, and keep deluding myself by saying it’s the act itself that matters, not the attention of others. But that’s a lie, and it’s always been a lie, and I’ve always known it. I don’t need to be a superstar in anything. I would like to be kind of like Hearty White, though: to do something cool, and have people appreciate it and follow it, and look forward to it. Not a huge throng , but just a stable audience of a few thousand who like what you do, and care if you live or die.
Failing that, I’d be happy as a clam with one or two hundred people who at least check in on my shit with some regularity.
I’d also like to lose 30 pounds.
Neither of those things are going to happen.
I dunno. I suppose I’ll just continue doing what I’ve always done, though I suppose I have to prioritize it somehow, assuming my current lack of motivation is simply a log jam.