Tuesday was a curious day. Not a lot of action, but a good bit of pondering. Namely, again with the divorce analogy. My divorce was like a root canal, in this way: When you have a tooth that needs a root canal, it hurts like hell. The tooth itself is what you focus on, until you come under the blissful needle of the endodontist, who severs the live nerve endings that are causing the immediate pain. After a short while, you discover that you are completely pain-free, and you realize that it wasn't just your tooth that hurt, but your whole body. You had systemic pain up in your sinuses that you thought were allergies, jaw pain that you thought was from grinding your teeth at night, general ache all over from the fatigue of enduring the pain.
Leaving the newspaper is like that, too. As I come past the initial separation, I discover that I have severed myself not only from the immediate crush of an overwhelming workload, but also the slights and oversights that punctuated my work at the newspaper. It is difficult enough to do the work; it is soul-bruising to be continually undervalued for the creative work that you can eke out between the numerous maintenance tasks.
It is the appreciation of my work now that underscores the underappreciation.
I have received many kinds emails from readers sorry to see me go.
And I spoke with the editor today about my book proposal. She said that initially the topic intrigued her not at all. But she read it and found herself drawn by the voice.
The voice! This is something that nobody at the newspaper ever commented on. I have waited my whole life for someone to appreciate my voice. And I find that person two days after leaving the newspaper. Holy mackeral.
So, I have direction there. I need to write a bit more for her, to show that the voice can sustain itself.
On Wednesday, I began the day with a brainstorming meeting for a board I'm on. Very lively & creative.
Then I wrote a short story. It's been a very long time since I've written any fiction. It was good.
I spent the afternoon crafting business cards. Creative. Fun. Down-time for the brain.
I went to a pre-book event for Joe. Very engaging.
I went to a book reading by Ron Rash. Afterward, I talked with someone who 1. encouraged me to apply for a writing grant and 2. asked if I was interested in media consultancy work.
In these three days, I have accomplished more creative work than I have done in a year. I have talked with people about engaging topics. I have exercised my brain.
Not that I want this to be all about me -- but right now, it's good to be me.