Well, it’s been a couple of months since I’ve written a blog entry, long enough that some folks have noticed and complained - mildly, of course.
Good-natured and well intentioned though those kinds of prompting may be, it has evoked in me a sense of guilt. I really should write something, I would tell myself, only to find myself staring at the keyboard and realizing I have absolutely nothing to say. Whenever an ember of inspiration emerged it quickly faded away. And so, here I am: A writer who doesn’t write.
A close friend has suggested that my lack of creative energy is most likely a sign of depression. I strongly suspect she is right. Without health insurance, anti-depressants run about $500 for a month’s supply. So, since I cannot afford to be depressed, I’ll settle for being despondent, an ailment that doesn’t require a prescription.
As I am writing this, I realize that this must sound pretty pitiful. At this point, if you were among those who encouraged me to write something you are beginning to regret it.
This week I realized that another writing gig fell through. Phoenix Magazine was looking for an associate editor, sort of an entry level position, best I could figure. I had hoped, at the very least, to get an interview for the job. But it didn’t work out. In fact, I didn’t even get a “sorry, but we’re going another direction’’ e-mail.
No knock on Phoenix Magazine, though. Heck, There are thousands of magazines, newspapers and other publishing interests who won’t give me a shot, so why single out Phoenix Magazine?
It’s sorta funny, really. I couldn’t even get an interview with U-Haul, which was looking for a copy writer a while back. That's frustrating because I am confident I could make renting a trailer hitch quite poetic. Their loss, right?
You know, I’ve probably applied for 100 jobs since getting out of prison. I was called in for an interview only once. How I would love to be able to simply be able to make my case in person. But I can’t even get a half-hour of an employer’s time.
So, yeah, I’m despondent.
I guess it’s time to move on, to forget about a career in writing and get a real job, but the truth is I have no appetite for anything else.
Somehow, I’ve got to get an appetite. How do you do that, anyway?
I love to write, have some aptitude for writing and a fair amount of experience at it. Most people seem to like my writing. Unfortunately, none of those people have writing jobs to offer.
But I have to do something. I’m almost 50 with no home, no car, no real security and sometimes it seems to me that I’m a lot closer to ruin than redemption.
I am tired, really, emotionally exhausted, bone-weary. Like the hired man in Robert Frost’s poem, I’m inclined, in my darker moments, to concede that I have nothing to look back on with pride, nothing to look forward to with hope. Some people just get smaller and smaller until one day that simply disappear. Sometimes, I wonder if that's what will happen to me.
That’s probably a lie, I tell myself. It is also an affront to all of you who have been so very kind and supportive and encouraging. I do not mean to be ungrateful.
I guess I’m just despondent.
But it does feel good getting another post out, even if it’s dripping with self-pity.
Maybe the next one will be a little brighter.
Tomorrow is another day, right Scarlett?