Where oh where have I been? Was I eaten by wolves? No. Was I abducted by little gray beings and fondled with electrodes? No—not that I’m saying that couldn’t happen. I’ve just been busy working on some freelance projects, regretting saying yes to them, to one project in particular, to one very long project that swallowed me whole, you should have seen me this weekend, it was a study in pathetics. Also, there was that headache again. Also, on Friday, the person I supervised at work left for a new and better job and I would be lying if I didn’t say it hit me extremely hard. We had the most incredible relationship, and I just can’t imagine being there without her. It will be different.

All this time I have not been posting on this blog, coincidentally, I have also not been writing. Not a word. Taking on so many freelance projects was a mistake. I am looking forward to getting a life back, to the other side of existence where I am two things and two things only: 1) a good publishing citizen at my day job (but not to extremes—for example, taking the catalog home to work on till 10:30 last night was not healthy, but these are extenuating circumstances), and 2) an artist.

In fact #2 should be #1. There is nothing wrong with being two things at once, but I want #2 to be #1.

In the lost days of the past week I missed a writing contest; probably hundreds of exciting blog posts; a book I wrote under a pseudonym routed through my office, I shrugged, didn’t even page through it, initialed the form, let it move on; I had too many cupcakes; and I forgot that I was writing a novel. Forgot! How is such a thing possible? In the next week I will be a witness at City Hall so a friend I know from junior high can get married; I will have lunch with someone I met at a young writers conference when I was 17; I will go upstate for Mother’s Day; I will go away to see my baby sister graduate college; I will scramble to make another writing deadline; I will look forward to the week after that to breathe.

Last night, I found this: “The Artist in the Office: Living the Dream with a Day Job” by Summer Pierre. It’s like she’s speaking just to me. I’m about to email her to ask for a copy.

4 responses to “Swallowed”

  1. I am very glad you weren’t eaten or abducted or any such thing. Writing and blogging take time and sometimes time is very hard to come by. I am sorry about you missing the writing contest but there will be others, guaranteed.

    Find time for yourself, Nova, some time to just sit with pen in hand.


  2. I’ve been wondering what you were up to, but suspected your absence was due to being the incredibly busy human being that you are. You have a lot to do–I am amazed you had time for an update!!–and here’s hoping that the rest of the week & next passes by as painlessly as it can pass (at least it sounds like there’s some fun stuff in there as well–congrats to your friend that is getting married and to your sis for graduating!!). May the week after be all #1 & 2 but especially especially #2.

    Take care of yourself and enjoy the business where you can and keep an eye out for those little grey beings–they’re sneaky little bastards.


  3. How well I know this feeling, Nova! I’m in a constant struggle to shift priorities, too, to bring the writer closer to the top of the pile of roles I play. It feels selfish, or self-indulgent at times, to shrug off so many other opportunities and obligations for the sake of this, well, this hobby, isn’t it? As if the world needed to hear from us. It runs in cycles for me, maybe for you, too. When I wasn’t writing much (my first 53 years), I didn’t need to. Now that I’m writing every day (this year) I find I need it every day and always have, without knowing. When I wonder if it’s worth the sacrifices, I pick up something I love to read and remind myself how much those selfish bastards who gave so much of their lives to their writing have done for me.


  4. Thanks for this post. I have been feeling quite the same way. The comments you received are great, too. Always great to have a reality check and realize it’s not “just you.”


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