At the beginning of this month, I decided I would try to put myself out in the world more. I said on Twitter (half joking) that it was the #MonthOfBrian. I intended to focus outwardly.
I arranged to go to Portugal, Italy, New Zealand, and a third Writing Excuses cruise. Along with a handful of minor successes, it felt like momentum. People won’t be able to discover my writing if I hide in my garage.
The reality is I entered March with a lot of bluster in order to stay positive and suppress bad, counterproductive feelings. My emotions are irrational and non-negotiable, so I decided to work around.
When the reality of Covid-19 hit home, all my plans went out the window. The trip with Sierra Nevada College canceled first. I recently heard New Zealand WorldCon is canceled, though I personally haven’t received notification. The final decision hasn’t been made the Writing Excuses Cruise, but let’s be real. It’s a cruise. It will be canceled.
I responded to all this by not responding. I all but disappeared from social media. A handful of people reached out to me to check in, and I told them I’m fine.
Am I fine? I don’t know. I would rather have nothing to do with my irrational, non-negotiable emotions. Critical self-analysis has not been my highest priority. Avoidance is the name of the game, both personally and socially.
During this crisis, I try to do the best I can for Melissa and the kids. I work during the working hours. I contribute around the house. In the evening, I play Breath of the Wild.
I haven’t been writing. I haven’t been making plans. I’m not interested in books or movies or music. There’s work, the family, and the nightly video game distraction.
At 2AM today, I finished Breath of the Wild. The game was fantastic and I enjoyed it. But now what?
I used the game to avoid reality, but I don’t think I can do that anymore. I should write. I need to write. I don’t know if I can. Right now, going to that place where the words live is like sticking my naked hand into a hot oven to pull out a pan.
As they say at the end of the podcast, I’m out of excuses. It’s time to roll up my sleeve and get back to work.