The other side…

Normally I blog about the after-math of my doubts as a writer or some amazing fact that shows to me that being a writer is my “true path” and that it is all good. Well, today…I thought it might be good. Be brave. To show the other side of my writing mind…it isn’t pretty…but there it is.

I am feeling stuck. I have been continuing to write daily on the bus- in fact on Wednesday morning I almost missed my stop because I was so involved in what I was was writing – but I am finding that it is not enough. I want more time. I need to give myself more time. And, I know that there is more time to be created – if I choose to actually take the time.

The last three weeks have been somewhat of a blur. One of the reasons is that my day job has been busy. Actually, I cannot recall a time where it isn’t busy. The weather in Toronto has been pretty much what one would expect in Canada during January. But, I don’t think that people are prepared, because the transit still works slow and people forget how to move. They have yet to plow my street from the first snow fall in December. If I were still living in Montreal, I don’t think that this would be acceptable. So, by the time that I get home trekking through the snow, it is almost 7pm and then there is dinner, pet care etc. The ironic part of this is that I am trying to get up earlier so that I can get to work earlier, so that I can leave earlier.

And so at 8 or 9pm I could sit down and write. I could choose to sit down and write. My mind is so blurry though that I find the only thing I want to do is sadly sit in front of the TV and watch other people’s stories for a while. Admittedly, I love my TV. I get inspired by some of the stories that I see. I also know that I use it as a route to escape – particularly when I don’t want to deal.

Last weekend, I attended a Toy Fair here in the city for work. I was able to negotiate the lieu day for today, so that I can catch up on the writing that I missed on Sunday today. And I have my notebooks to my left (with the cat protecting it on top) and I am poised with a great cup of coffee ready to begin.

But, I am frustrated. The week at work was ridiculously busy and I was hoping that something we were doing with HR would result in some promise of a raise so I don’t have to worry about finances. But, so far that isn’t to be. I checked into some grants for writers and it appears that unless you are published, the only way to get some money for a new writer is through art contests. There are a ton of writing resources. Books on the publishing market. All of that stuff. But, for once, I want to feel that I am actually doing the right thing here.

How much time do I spend doing things that I would rather not be doing? I would say that a majority of my life is spent doing those things. It is sad and I am frustrated.

There is this Research position being offered at the University of Prince Edward Island for people doing work on LMM. When I first saw this, I thought that it would be a perfect fit. There isn’t a lot of money involved, but there is an understanding that a person would have other work or a day job. It would allow me to explore the life I feel like I missed somehow. Now, I am doubtful to even try. Am I just thinking it is another way for me to avoid the book? Who am I to apply? I am not officially studying Montgomery. I am a novice really. Although I have read her practically my whole life, I am not like those others who have Phds. And, maybe that is why I should just do it.

A few months ago, I applied to speak at a conference in Sweden. I was rejected because there was such an overwhelming amount of entries, they had to cut it down to people who had Phds or were sort of already known in the field. I am none of those things.

It is that whole thing of getting a loan for something you cannot prove until you get the loan. This is how I feel. But the fact is, I am still not convinced in my own self that I can do this. So, why would my reality show it any other way.

About Melanie J. Fishbane

My novel, MAUD: A Novel Inspired by the Life of L.M. Montgomery was published in 2017 through Penguin Random House on April 25, 2017. I hold an MFA in Writing for Children and Young Adults from the Vermont College of Fine Arts. Here I talk about my writing process, things I love, and creative people who inspire me.
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