Anymore, there's always something to do. In stark contrast to the first half of the year, where I sat in front of a stack of Courier-printed pages and self-medicated through writing and revision. I don't miss how bad that time was, but it's a pretty supreme gift, to be able to write and write and write with very little else to invade my mental space. Looking back, I will take that time as a gift, as the universe's way of offering relief. So many things can't be expressed openly, but at least I can let it out on the page. Honestly, Dirt Chic is the only place where I can stomach my own creative non-fiction. The rest of my life is bound up in characters. Pun intended.
For instance - I wrote a full-length play in those six months, as an exercise in realism, but also because I wanted to tell a specific story. I plotted it out, wrote it, decided I hated it, shoved it away. The story was too brutal, with no emotional relief. And I'm not a particular fan of writing realism, and dangit, plays are just hard to write, period. But for whatever reason, I went back and read it, and an interesting thing happened - I started to actually care about my characters. But I still hated it, so I shoved it away again. Then, when I was watching another play (not mine), I realized that it told a larger story, and I needed to try my best to make it its best, and also try to put it out in the world.
Because it's a story about intellectual and spiritual bullying. It's a story about women. It digs under the surface of what we want to look at when we focus on someone who has done something wrong. It excavates selfhood, and how difficult it can be to find yourself when oppressive forces are embedded in the culture, so much so that a person can doubt their own story.
I used to spend more time thinking about spiritual topics because that, to me, was revelation and salvation, but this process has slowly morphed into a greater humanism. It's my fundamental belief that feelings are one thing - action is another. So I can have all the ideas and feelings I want, but who cares about them if I'm not helping anyone? If I'm not even helping myself? Change happens because of sacrifice. And change still needs to happen, and I've become particularly passionate about women's history and studies, because this... is where the universe has led me. And it's a dialogue that I am pretty sure I'll perpetuate between myself and everyone else.
Just so you know. :) Under the surface, Dirt Chic has been hardcore feminist for awhile. And of course, hardcore humanist. I'm getting to the point where I want the conversation to continue outside of me.