It’s been awhile. I know. A lot has changed since my last, blindly hopeful, blog post.
I’ve been having a hard time writing. When this quarantine thing first started I had about one, maybe two, solid weeks of periods where I would actually write. An entire outline to a play, snippets of poems, a few pages of a handwritten scene to a novel I abandoned in December, but I’m finding that the stamina doesn’t last long.
So I haven’t been writing. I’ve been having ideas and looking for submissions, but no actual, nose to the grindstone, getting completely lost in a story, writing.
What I have been doing is thinking a lot about barriers.
When I was little, I would walk in the expansive woods around my grandparent’s house with my grandma and her Border Collie Samantha. We would circle around the areas close to home, the pond next to the long, gravel driveway, the abandoned van far behind the house that was supposedly filled with snakes, my “holiday tree” located in a clearing where my gram would decorate for as many holidays as she could, making ornaments out of eggs in the Spring and little pumpkins in the Fall.
But what I remember most was the point in our walks where we would stop and turn around to go back to the house. It was usually during a long stretch of a tree lined path, no real landmarks (that I can remember) dividing it from the rest of the forest and properties in the areas, but my grandma always knew and would turn us around just as me and Sammie were ready to keep pushing forward.
I would always look at that continuing path in the woods, wondering what was beyond it, but since I was already an anxious child (afraid of her own shadow and breaking adult rules) I never ventured to explore that portrait pretty path on my own. It was the same as the supposed haunted fourth floor in my middle school, or the abandoned lacework factory my friends explored as teenagers. I saw these places as barriers.
It was like being in a video game where you can’t go past a certain point. Not because you haven’t hit a plot point that would push you forward into the next part of the game, but because nothing existed beyond that point. Because I was told to stay away from those places, the barrier was set and I couldn’t even imagine what was behind them, if anything was.
That’s kind of how I feel like my life is going.
Not just because we’re living in a pandemic where obvious barriers have been set that people keep willfully (or are forced into) breaking. I felt like that long before any of this happened and while most were made by others for me, I am now making my own insurmountable barriers because I can’t see past a well crafted facade and it terrifies me.
So this is my very long winded way to say that I want to try something different. I want to pull down the barriers that have been holding me in place for years. Soon, Youthful Hermitess is not just going to be the home for my blog, but also a home for my short stories, poems, and (in the future) my first novel.
Instead of waiting for others to choose my content, I’m choosing my content in the hopes of getting my stuff out there faster than before. I want to finally connect with you all in a way that I haven’t been able to by following more traditional paths and I want that to go to the wayside. I want to share the stories I’ve held onto and the new things that I’m working on in the hopes of finally getting “there” in my career where people are willing to read and share my writing.
I don’t have a well thought out schedule just yet, but stay tuned for either a full story, or one broken into parts, in the next week or so. I’m also going to bring back either weekly or bi-weekly blog posts for the rest of the year (unless armageddon actually does come) plus a little Freewrite Friday now and again (I swear I will finish that eye story at some point in all of our lives).
Besides sharing my work, I’m hoping that by lessening the pile of stocked up stories I usually have (most of which are years old) I can spring forward and finally write down the ideas that have been on my corkboard for months. I have a lot of scary stories to tell and I want you all to be there for the ride.
After that, we’ll see.
There’s Amazon and YouTube and all of the other amazing ways to get art out there, and honestly the only consolation to the mess this whole world is in is the amount of art and entertainment that has already sprung up because of it.
So here’s to breaking your own barriers whatever they are, but please, for the love of God, STAY HOME!