The label “writer” is something I have always been proud to self-identify as. Since I was 9 or 10 years old, I have been a writer. I have written short stories, (really bad) poetry, (self-indulgent) blogs, research papers, news articles, sketch scripts, social media statuses, Tweets, resumes, copy for advertising, presentations… you name it, I have written it.
Writing has been my therapy, the way to get all the gunk that gets tangled up in my brain (I have brain weasels that create gunk, a topic for some other post) out onto a page so I could examine the gunk and (perhaps) resolve some of my inner conflict and issues.
And, if I could amuse people by doing this… all the better.
Then 2014 happened. My daughter died. My world crashed down around my ears. And, writers block set in.
Yeah, I was still doing some writing – mostly for work, very uninspired, not at all fun. It felt forced because I needed a paycheck or to please a client. My blog laid fallow. One-by-one my outside writing opportunities faded away. I would start and stop projects, over and over, again and again. VERY patient editors (who had known me for years) encouraged me to write when I could see clear to find a topic I felt like putting words to a page about. That didn’t happen very often.
And, years passed: 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019… and, all the brain weasel gunk was building up in my head, making me more and more unhappy. I stopped reading books, because reading the joyous writing of other people (no matter the topic, even somber books have joyous writers,) just put me deeper into my writers block funk…
I don’t know when the tectonic shift in my thinking happened: Hindsight being 20/20, I can see clearly that the time and energy I spent on caring was dumb.
Perhaps it happened the 1001st time that someone called me a “dumb slut” or “annoying bitch” or “ugly, fat, troll” on one of the columns I wrote? When an anon “fan” from the Internet showed up in my real life and threatened me? When Encyclopedia Dramatic posted a whole page dragging me in the ugliest of ways? Or, was it when my daughter died and I realized how unreal what people say on the Internet is compared to the heartache and struggle of real life? Or, maybe, at some point I just became tired of trying to fix the world by battling one troll at a time?
Whatever happened, somewhere along the way, I learned to truly and honestly give no fucks. About online drama. Offline drama. Harsh and ugly souled people, in general. I have no energy to go in with witty verbal guns blazing to school some newb. I just don’t. I give zero fucks.
At one point, I had good reason to be bothered by some of the things said to or about me online. That time passed slowly, much slower than it should for a functioning adult. The energy and ire I wasted on engaging with these bumblefucks is monumental. And, as a 45-year old tired person, I wish I had that energy back.
There is something totally freeing about the moment you decide to stop wasting energy and time on stupid shit. It’s like boulders are lifted off your shoulders and you wake up out of a fog to see what things are out in front of you without clouds in your eyes.