From where I sit, the women in the neighborhood chuckle afloat swigs of homemade shots. They have been out for the past four hours, exchanging stories during cooking time for most wives. On one hand, I am aghast at how they could forego tiny, hungry tummies, but on the other, I am envious.
A week ago, near the end of late night writing obligations, I excitedly toyed with the idea of celebrating the night with a bottle of ice cold beer that I had stored week-long in the chiller. For emergencies. But by the end of it all, I found more work to be done. I sat in the room, a child asleep from a feet away with one hand cupping my sleepy head, the other typing billing excel files to send out to clients who are hesitant to pay up. Exasperated, I hit the bed immediately after and forgot about the beer.
The past week I have become more bored of words than ever. I piss precious time reading other blogs and scanning social media feeds, but entirely miss out on posting personal ones. There are many blog backlogs to write about and a couple more client articles to finish, but my jumpstart button seems to be fizzing out. I write almost seven days a week, 10-12 hours a day and it still isn’t sufficient. I have even thought of abandoning writing altogether. There has been an offer to displace me somewhere in Canada to work as a nurse and honestly, with how making ends meet has been more impossible than ever the past months, I am tempted to jump ship.
Since my teens I have dreamed of writing full-time as a career. I lifted the wings of words high like prized stones. Golden as the sweet sun, thrilling beyond travel and surprises. I tempered the road going there against rationale and reason. But now I have it, it proves to be not as promising and shimmery as I once hoped it would be. My hands feel heavy on the laptop keys. The screen blinks, a blank canvass waiting to be filled, and I stare aimlessly. I don’t want anything to do with writing. Call it writer’s block, or rather a writing burnout – both luxuries I can’t afford.
As I rummage through old journal entries, I realize my writings of late fall pale in comparison to those olden fiery tales. They bear truths, but only superficial ones. They are missing a unique heartbeat, fire, blood, marrow; brittle as parched detached twigs.
Many successful bloggers quip, the one mistake many of us often commit is writing about everything. There must be focus, one stated, because blogs nowadays have evolved to more than just being online diaries. They are a business. People don’t come to businesses to know what they think. They come to see what you can do for them, to juice something valuable out of you. I used to say, well, fuck that and fuck SEO. I write to tell stories, not to make money out of an audience. Now I am not even slightly capable of judging the difference between writing for passion and writing for a living.
For a while, I thought I was plain bored of the blog. So I wasted two days experimenting with new blog templates. For a whiff of change, I thought. Hundreds of templates and not one to settle with. No later did I realize it wasn’t the blog design I was exhausted of. It’s this. All this writing for work and for others, this inability to appreciate how dark steals light and stories other than Web-curated, the neverending chase for deadlines and bills, and in between, the ceaseless yapping at table spills and chaos in a 45-square meter space. Everything from mothering to writing has become mechanical. That inconvenient, consuming hunger for words, self-betterment and wanderlust, it’s gone.
Love what you do and the money will just follow. That has always been my credo. But what do you do when that love hasn’t reciprocated you well for years? Do you continue tempering or do you take your feet elsewhere?
Certainly not something ice cold beer can answer.