A Manifesto of SortsSomeone commented yesterday that "it must be exhausting" to think up all of the things I write about here on OWM. And my answer to that darling doll (who, btw, is simply gorgeous and shouldn’t be worrying over “sucking it in”) would be: No. Absolutely not. I find writing whatever pops into my tiny and slightly pointed head extremely easy. Hence my chosen career as a writer. I am embarrassingly incompetent with most everything else in life (except motherhood -- I am Earth Mother extraordinaire, if I do say so myself. Well, except on the days I feel like taking two meat skewers and plunging them straight into both eyes, making sure to twist real good, but only after I first take a turkey baster and suck out my eardrums until I am sufficiently blind and deaf). Words are a limitless wonder for me.
What is exhausting, however, is working the writing around my other obligations. I need solitude in order to write, especially fiction or poetry, and in my house, solitude is about as common as two-headed hyenas giving birth on my living room floor. But I grab what little there is, regardless of the unfortunate guilt many mothers feel when they do something just for themselves; I write through the angry demands, the occasional disapproval of my husband, the time stolen that might best be given to my kids, but is not. Because I am selfishly in love with words. And sometimes I feel so much guilt over that fact, it clouds my imagination even when I am given solitude.
That is what exhausts me and makes me want to say fuckitall.
I won't, though, because I can't. I must write, and I must be read, whether by scores of folks who happen to buy the books and magazines I'm published in, or only by the few who might enjoy my insane ramblings here. Which leads me to this: I am someone who finds it very difficult to comfortably converse with others face to face -- I can't bear chatrooms, even -- so writing is my way of connecting to the outside world. It keeps me from being a (less violent) Ted Kaczynski.
I'm known as the weird horror writer lady in my neighborhood due to my hermit-like existence. I realize that I'm seen as aloof, unfriendly, scary, and it bothers me to some degree. even though I should be used to the "weird" label by now. I was the weird little girl in grammar school, the weird hot chick in high school, and now the weird horror writer lady who never comes over for coffee or attends neighborhood doings. But don't feel sorry for me, because I wouldn't have it any other way -- I like being left alone, and I like having my husband, kids and a couple of close friends as my only company. I love my cyber friends. That way, I don't have to put on a mask, pretend that it's not hard to look others in the eye, to make small talk. I don't have to smile and laugh when I seriously don't want to; I don't have to conform to what's considered "appropriate" behavior. That, too, is what exhausts me, that pretense, that stress of trying to fit in.
I'll be damned if I put on a mask here, in my own space.
I decided long ago that since I will be me forever, I should accept who I am without apology, without shame. I like me, and I couldn't care less about those who don't. They can all hitch a ride on the flying monkey's ass, as far as I'm concerned.