My Independence Day [repost]

Red white blue balloons

I celebrated this July 4th by flinging off my self-imposed yoke of fiction writing tyranny. Hurrah! Instead of dumping tea into Boston Harbor, I spilled it all over my laptop and destroyed my keyboard, thereby depriving myself of the means to gaze at the screen wondering why a best-selling novel authored by me doesn’t materialize while I screw around reading the news. Tuesday I had a meltdown while visiting my daughters because I’m so frustrated and stressed over my lack of writing progress and success, so I suspect the tea spill was a subconscious rebellion.

Of course I could buy a new laptop, but I don’t want to. My hard drive is fine and safe, if anyone cares, and most of my stuff is backed up, but I can’t write fiction on my phone. I feel relieved. I spent the day watching movies and doing NOTHING. I’m tired of telling myself that the minute I get home from the office, after typing on a computer all day, I have to start working on a novel or else I’m failing at life. Most nights I don’t even write ~ I just sit there, tired and miserable, staring at the screen, until I crash into sleep.

Maybe my subconscious was also at work when I titled my last book of poetry All She Wrote. At the time, I meant it about a specific situation… or so I thought. In any case, I don’t intend to stop blogging or tweeting, or even writing the occasional poem, all of which are phone-friendly. I’m only talking about giving up the agony of fiction writing and the hopelessness of self-promo. These nowhere goals have been adding to my depression. (I probably shouldn’t use the word depression, but since I allow people with regular bad headaches to call them migraines, I figure I can have a pass.)

These are the movies I watched yesterday:

1. Spaceballs! So freaking funny. I can’t believe I never saw it before. Loved it. Just what I needed to cheer me up. And whatever happened to Daphne Zuniga? So pretty! She was in a sweet romcom with my honey John Cusack back in the day. What was that? Be my google.

2. Winter’s Bone. Yikes, what an intense movie. I can see the appeal of Jennifer Lawrence now. She is incredible in this utterly bleak yet fantastic film.

3. The Age of Innocence. Generally I don’t like narrated movies, but there are exceptions to every rule, and this is one. What a lovely film. Everyone was superb. Daniel Day-Lewis is such a gifted actor ~ what a shame he retired.

I plan to feast madly on movies and books from now on. Other people have created delicious art and I’m simply going to nom up theirs and shoot down any idea that I need to write a novel, should such a crazy notion ever raise its nasty serpentine head again out of the tangled jungle of my mind. Begone, slithery, sanity-stealing, ego constrictor of doom.


[Note: I wrote this in 2018 and find it amusing enough to repost despite the fact that I just published a new romance novel from Anna Fondant on Amazon for Kindle yesterday.]


Image from Pixabay.

©️2021 Paula Light and Light Motifs II. No unauthorized use permitted. Please check out Paula’s books for sale on Amazon. Thank you.

16 responses to “My Independence Day [repost]

  1. Wow, that was certainly unexpected. But if writing fiction isn’t doing it for you any longer, perhaps the keyboard accident was a bit of a blessing. If writing was adding stress, that’s not a healthy thing.

    And I love Spaceballs: John Candy is in it. He is one of my alltime favorite comedic actors. Daphne just made a splash in our neck of the woods when she visited a much-loved ice cream joint. They posted photos on their FB page. She has aged quite well and is still gorgeous.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks Nat. It took me a while to realize that the resumption of my fiction writing was causing stress. I was happy writing poetry and finishing All She Wrote. I enjoy writing the occasional poem when inspired now. But forcing myself to work on the stories and novels is distressing.

      Anyway. Yes… Spaceballs, hilar! Thx for the Daphne info. 🙂


  2. Y’know, I haven’t seen “Spaceballs” either, but I did buy it off iTunes. I know what I’m gonna watch now.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I recently read something about “following your bliss,” something like that. It was an interview with Joseph Campbell (Bill Moyer.) I got the idea that if you really like the process of writing (or anything) then do it, not for the money and fame, but just to do something you like. It sounds self-indulgent, but we all work, or have worked, for a living, nothing wrong with using our spare time to enjoy life.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Enjoy your freedom from self-imposed tyranny! ❤️

    Liked by 1 person

  5. I have recently come to more or less the same realization. I like writing, I like writing stories, I like writing stuff that just comes up that seems to need to be written, but “scheduled” writing, or banging away on anything, from short story to novel, just because I feel like I SHOULD be writing was beating me up.

    I have easily somewhere between five and fifteen things from blog entries and short stories up to novel-length boondoggles in progress all the time. It’s highly likely none will ever be done because, as with you, the fastest way to writer’s block is to sit down and try to “create”. It turns out that the only way for me to get anything at all done is to randomly run across something that I worked on months or years before, got pissed off at, and walked away from. (At least I don’t just hard-delete them anymore.) Sometimes I suddenly realize what comes next, the entire thing popping into my head at once. I bang out five or ten or fifty pages almost before I realize it to get it down, and I’m done. If I keep “working” on it or come back to it right away, it’s gone, which pisses me off and I walk away from it again. It seems the longer it takes for me to realize I’m done and walk away from it, the longer it is before I have that “Oh, yeah, well this just HAS to be what happens next, doesn’t it?” moment.

    This means that I fully anticipate that when I finally go tits-up (a medical term borrowed from goldfish physiology) I’ll be leaving a couple of dozen wads of stuff comprised of random snippets of stories that just cannot be glued together for my survivors to chuck out. This is not a bad thing, since the only other thing I’ll be leaving them is a notice from my bank that I’m $15.00 overdrawn, and this will give them something to do.

    I’ve discovered that I’m good with that, and I’m now back to pre-ambition days where I write just because it entertains me, and actually producing anything useful would be a truly astronishing surprise, and is near the bottom of my life priority list.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Yes, this is right on. I’m just feeling too much pressure to do the scads of productive fiction writing on the schedule I created. If I didn’t work, it’d be different ~ maybe. Idk. Maybe that’s a lie. In any case, I’m tired of feeling miserable about it for no reason other than telling myself I ought to do it. Reminds me of dating. I can just stop.

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Buy a bluetooth keyboard.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Mmm…. John Cusack 😍

    Liked by 1 person

  8. I’m glad you’re over that phase of your writing. The lesson I guess is not to stress about writing and let it happen naturally.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. When I was about twelve or thirteen, my friends and I all got completely obsessed with Spaceballs and quoted it all the time! Despite the fact that I had only seen it once! (Actually, initially I hadn’t seen it at all, I just quoted my friends quoting it.) I haven’t seen it since then, though, and I wonder how it holds up.

    I generally don’t even try to write fiction after coming home from work, but I’m fortunate (if that’s the right word) that I only work two days a week, so I have other writing time.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Congrats on the new novel!

    Liked by 1 person

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