2006-06-24, 7:38 p.m.
I'm not doing well at my writing of late.
On Wednesday, I was the "featured" writer (i.e. I turned in something longer than 4 pages) at writers' group meeting. It's from the novel I've been working on, very OFF and on, all year. The overall consensus was that technically, it was written very well. But... I have no feelings in this novel. Nobody cares about the characters. I made a list of those notes over here.
Here's the thing: I have no feelings to put into it. I have no passion for people any more. I don't remember what it was like to feel strong emotions for people that aren't annoyance, exasperation, or anger. I don't really remember what it was like to want someone. That's gone for me. I look at my memories and go, "Why did I act like such a desperate little limpet trying to keep that guy? God, how pathetic." I look at people being schmoopy on the bus and I don't even care.
At my highest emotionally these days, I'm probably at a solid "hey, nothing bad's happened in a week and a half, even if things are dull as shit" 5 on a 1-10 scale most of the time. I don't get all worked up on the happier side of things.
Living the life I do now, I don't think this is a bad thing to have going on with me. It's a good way to live life when there's a Big Depressing Anvil hanging over my head for God knows how long still, and when it seems like my entire family has to act like godawful morons. I'm incredibly immature, but when people over 40 or over 50 or over 60 are out-immaturing ME?! THIS IS JUST WRONG. But as a general rule, the more I keep my emotions out of this morass of stupid drama, the better off I'm doing at treading water. It's NICE to lose your caring about things, to go "Whatever, so-and-so just HAS to act stupid/mean/rude/godawful all the time, I give up" rather than try to crusade for a sanity that'll never happen. The more I stop caring, the blunter I get, and the more I enjoy being blunt and mean when someone starts doing stupid shit and then makes the mistake of asking me about it. "Yes, what you did was stupid. Yes, what they did was asshole. As usual. Stop expecting that they're really going to change at this point in time. And I'm really tired of hearing you bitch about them every single night."
I read a book trilogy where they called this kind of thinking "ishin na'telleth." It meant, "I'm not about to care." I rather like it. The more I stop caring, the better off I am dealing with everyone's stupid shit and the better I keep my sanity.
But, that said, it does pretty much crap up my ability to write fiction when I can't even remember what it was like to have feelings, and I can't pinpoint what the characters WOULD feel passion about, or how to describe that passion should I figure out one. Maybe I should just give up on writing fiction until this gets fixed, if it even can get fixed at this point. I don't know if I can come back to feeling like a normal person at this point even after The Big D finally goes down. If it ever does. Which I doubt. Hey, for all I know she might decide cryogenic suspension is a rollickingly good idea...anything as long as nobody kills her hopes!
Sometimes I think about saying to my mother, "Look, every day Dad's kept alive by machines, I die a little more inside. What do you think about THAT? Is it worth that price, that we keep someone alive so they can suffer more, while we pay the price for their continuing to live?" But saying that wouldn't make a dent anyway, and if it's a choice between me and him at this point, I know what the answer is going to be.