I want to do everything. This year I discovered that I can change my life to become one in which writing is a large part of it. Now that I have the time and energy to do this the ideas are flowing, but not in the same vein. I am a melting mountaintop depositing little ideas into a thousand tributaries, most of which dry out just miles away. I have yet to find my river. My Mississippi, my Connecticut. The tributaries are many but with little strength and water to sustain them. I bleed myself dry coming up with multiple ideas rather than letting one flow and flow and flow until it’s a river ready to be kayaked and polluted. Not even fish will live there. Maybe a tadpole or two.
It’s a problem to want to try everything; to want to be a poet, a screenwriter, a blogger, a columnist, a student of pop culture, a memoirist and recently, a fiction writer (that’s a new one I thought I’d never see). How do I know where I’ll be happiest? Like a bored fourth grader I spend a couple of weeks in one genre and then move on to the next activity that will light up my feel-good sensors for a little bit.
I’m like this in life, too. I will listen to the same album for a year and then forget about it for the next four. I need that rush of unknown. I’ll buy a new top, wear the shit out of it, and then lose it in the back of my closet. I need to have everything (bills, paperwork, post-its, files, magazines, books, journals) out on my desk at home because the moment I put something away, I forget it exists. If you want to be in my life you need to always be alive and always in use or I will forget you. This is why I keep about 50 irons hot. If I turn one off, I may never return to it. And I don’t like to lose things.
How do I focus my energy, my water, to one stream and eventually to one river? Is this merely immaturity or am I really screwed? I do try to focus. I was really loving non-fiction for a few months and now, it makes me sick like too much candy. I wonder what the hell is going to hold my attention for more than a couple of months and I worry about it constantly. At this rate I’m never going to finish anything and I’ll be washed away to the land of wannabes in someone else’s ample river flood.