Saturday, March 22, 2014

creating a/broad, March 22, 2014

Feeling Bad
by Cameryn Moore

Sorry, can you come back later? This is a bad time to talk. Or write. This is a bad time for me to do anything, really, with anyone. 

I don’t mean I’m busy, although I am, but I don’t want to fetishize that as some amazing thing. It’s a natural outcome of being ambitious and broke and also an intensely procrastinating sort of personality and having shitty boundaries, and did I mention broke? This is just a bad time. If you hang out anywhere near me, you’re going to get an earful. It feels stupid, the sort of overdramatic, underwritten angst that thrives in dimly lit open mics and bars near theatres everywhere, but my editor wants the life of an itinerant artist and this is where it’s at this week, kids. I’m feeling bad, gutter-curdlingly bad.

I think that is me being hard on myself again, but then I think, what if I’m right?

I feel envious, green and oozing and slippery, trying to talk myself out of the feeling and choking on my own unwarranted bile. I am hard on myself for not succeeding, and then hard on myself for being hard on myself. I know the affirmations, the things I’m supposed to keep telling myself. Other artists’ successes have nothing to do with the merit or not of my work. Other educators have been around a lot longer than I have; of course I need to put in my time. Other writers are working on books; that’s not what I want to do anyway. It’s all smoke and mirrors, or hurtful competition, or I don’t realize how good I’ve got it and I should count my blessings, or there is room for all of us to succeed. I know all of these things. At some point I may have written about it; I may write about it again. I still feel envy. Don’t try to talk me out of it. I’ll get through it at some point. It’s a process, fuck.

I feel like the three months that I am missing this summer—because I’m going to the UK in May instead of August—those three months are now hanging out near my car all the time and laughing at me, hissing in my ear as I walk by, you thought you could get along without us, ha, well, you’re wrong, bitch.

I feel like every to-do list I’ve written recently was created by some Pollyanna version of me in the very recent past, a me who is way more optimistic than circumstances warrant, and what the fuck was she thinking ten minutes ago?

I feel like I am at this line between writing about my own shit and making up characters and writing about their shit, and it’s not so much a line as a yawping great abyss and I am trying to cross it by just running and jumping. I’m getting better at the jumping but not good enough, which just means that I am landing face first further out on the cavern floor, but a safe running landing on the other side feels very out of reach.

I feel like the drop in individual donations to my fundraising campaigns between last year and this year is a collective judgment on my progress as an internationally touring artist, that one time to Edinburgh and the UK is special, but without strong evidence that the first visit yielded tangible results, a second trans-Atlantic trip is just self-indulgent sucking on the Indiegogo teat. I think that is me being hard on myself again, but then I think, what if I’m right? And then I think, fuck, professional arts organizations do nothing but beg for money, all year round. I really need the money I beg for! Why am I feeling stupid and projecting this shit? And then I get confused, because that is a lot of different feelings happening in there all at once and I am not a drinking sort, but I may need one now.

I feel like I could write books, but that takes a lot of concentration

I feel like I am on the right path with my career, but if I think about it too hard, my writing becomes self-conscious and then I have to step away, and that is a big waste of time, but I can't stop thinking about what the hell I am trying to do with myself and why. I feel like the urgency in that question is much more understandable coming from a middle-aged woman than from someone in their late teens.

I feel like I could write articles again, but oh, god, journalism was shitty and weird enough the first time around. This time there are comment threads and links and that may be way too much interactivity for my tastes.

I feel like I could write books, but that takes a lot of concentration, which right now is in short supply.

I feel like I need a roadie who will fuck me and an agent who will love me, not necessarily in that order, but I need money to support personnel in those auxiliary support positions.

I feel edgy and restless and scared and bad. I’ll get out on my own, I’m sure. I always do. I just don’t know when or how. In the meantime, don’t try to talk me out of it. These are just feelings. I think this is seasonal. I can keep writing and driving and performing. Don’t try to talk me out of it. Don’t try to talk, period. Give me space to breathe and feel, and I’ll get out.

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