Friday, August 26, 2011

Jason's Pity Party

I don't like pity parties. In Pagandom you often hear phrases like "you make your own reality," or "you can change your circumstance," and to a degree that's probably true. Life has always been what you make of it. If you choose to live your life with the shades drawn don't complain when no one comes over. While there are always a lot of variables we can't control in our lives, you can always strive to put yourself in the best situations to maximize your opportunities.

As a Pagan I believe that you can manipulate natural energies and use them to effect the outcomes in your life (which is a fancy way of saying "magick"), however that process is pretty slow. Magick is not always something that works immediately, especially when tackling the big challenges. Magick is a subtle thing, it oozes into pores and crevices, it sets up circumstances, but it doesn't deliver results on a silver platter. As I work on the things in my life, I have to remember to be patient, a difficult thing for one as childish as me.

The last month has not been great for me. I have been suffering from a crippling bout of writer's block, and a large degree of self isolation. When we first moved out West back in February I went on a writing tear. I was pumping out close to fifteen good pages a day on a book about ritual. Somewhere in the middle of that I got a part time job , re-evaluted the "publishability" of the book, and then abandoned the project. Writing is a cruel mistress, and I'd prefer that it wasn't strictly a charity.

I am a gifted speaker, but I am not a gifted writer. On my best day in front of the computer monitor I'm pleased if my prose doesn't make me nauseous. On a middling day writing can be like pulling teeth, and lately it's been like trying to push a semi-truck out of gorge by myself. There have been a few days where it's taken me two hours to write one paragraph, and usually that paragraph is awful. I've noticed a large degree of typos in even my most basic correspondence . . . . . sloppy, disconnected, frustrating.

As a writer I have another problem-I write about things that aren't profitable, or perhaps even publishable. For those of you who have read my "Horned God" manuscript and enjoyed it, I thank you, but it's not the kind of book that's going to show up at Barnes and Noble. To be publishable means writing about things that have already been done to death (Wicca 101) or selling out (fairies, spells, vampires). I'm not sure I can write about something I don't have my heart in, and I don't feel the need to repeat things that have already been done, and perhaps done better than I can do them.

Right now writing scares me. To write and get rejected is failure, to not write and avoid failure is simply procrastination. There are days when I clean my townhouse for four or five hours just to avoid writing. I've never done that before, even during my worst cases of writing paralysis. In the past I've been able to get a few things done, whether it's workshop research or what not and lately it's been long grocery store trips, documentaries on Netflix, and graphic novels instead. Even my reading has gotten lazy, avoiding the usual challenging academic press to read light fiction or easy religion books covering topics and subjects I already know.

Blogging has usually been a comfort when suffering from writer's block, but even that's been a challenge lately. I have about eight unfinished drafts just sitting in the que here, but I hate all of them and they do such a shitty job of expressing ideas that should be easy to articulate. Some of the most popular blog pieces I've done lately (like the polyamory one, which has even been linked around to several other blogs) have taken weeks to write, and that's following even longer gestation periods. I began this blog because I enjoy writing in short bursts, and was hoping it would get linked to a bit more, but unless I'm writing about sex it seems to have stalled. My wish of getting linked to something like the Wild Hunt seems far away, and in general my readership has been my facebook page. (And I thank anyone who reads my rambles, I appreciate it more than words can express, I just want to expand ya know?)

Patience grasshopper. Magick is a slow process, and it's not like I've been putting my best material forward anyways (especially today). On the plus side I've got a few speaking gigs lined up next month, and those opportunities always energize me; well as long as the turnout isn't embarrassing and I don't make an ass of myself. (I'm sure I'll be fine on both counts.) I'm hopeful that the energy charge will give me the kick in the pants I need to overcome my current rut.

So I'm in this bad place and have to work my way out of it, and I can, and I will. Making inroads in the local Pagan Community has helped a bit, and Ari and I do have some great friends out here. Those are all plusses, and will eventually pay off as I begin to fix my fears. While I don't have control over all of my circumstances, I have control over my own hopes and fears, and I need to get the hopes up and the fears cleared out of the way.


  1. I knew there was a reason I liked you from the start! I too am a fervent worshipper of Sir Robert (saw him recently at the Greek and it was AMAZING). I too have often wept while listening to rock music. When I hear the opening strains of "No Quarter", I literally have to stop what I'm doing and allow myself to be paralyzed with ecstasy. One of the reasons I came into a pagan path is that I needed to support and expand this expression of Divinity within me. Many blessings to you, brother, and ROCK THE FUCK ON!

  2. that was supposed to go on the robert plant post. :D

  3. It's all right, music is such a big deal to me that it works on any post I write!

  4. This is a natural part of the process. When I taught classes it happened to me on and off ( I also wrote a book or two i didnt send out) One day something will happen whatever that something is , and it'll all come back.
    I look forward to your return to Mi.

  5. I found this post clear, well put together, and well written. Also, it communicated a sense of frustration and desire to push through.

  6. <3 writing is always difficult. Some months it's good... others, not so much. And while publishing is a scary thing, remember- even the greats were rejected. It's a matter of trying again and again and again. The publishing market is in crisis, and it's going to be hard. But as long as you know the realities of what you're getting into, and know that you can overcome it, you'll do fine. Just remember.... baby steps, man.

  7. "My wish of getting linked to something like the Wild Hunt seems far away..."

    Well, if you wanted me to link you, you should send a heads up now and then! I'm only now reading your blog because one of my friends on FB linked to a post you wrote (the one on Halloween). While I try to keep up with the Pagan blogosphere, there's a LOT of stuff I miss simply because there's so much out there for me to cover these days. I just don't have the time/energy to journey through Pagan blogs as I used to.

    I'll add you to my Google Reader, and try to keep up. Also, have you thought of writing for Patheos? They are always on the lookout for new blood, and it might drive some traffic to your blog. Drop Star a line, and I'll be happy to give you a "thumbs up".