Camp what?

So sometime last month (I think), in a fit of enthusiasm, I signed up for Camp NaNoWriMo. It’s essentially the same as the November event, but with more flexibility regarding word counts. And cabins (hi, bunkies!). And it’s a lot of fun.

But it’s seven days into the camping season and, so far, I haven’t written a word. (I have gone actual camping, but that’s another story for another time.) As a matter of fact, I switched projects. After realizing that I wasn’t sure exactly what I was trying to do with the novel I’ve spent years tinkering with, I shifted gears and moved onto something else.

I made a decent start on a new/old story and got a little feedback that had me second-guessing pretty much every aspect of my writing life. I got similar feedback on something else, which led to third-guessing my ability to write professionally, period. Then I tried to eat my weight in chips, fiesta ranch dip, and parade candy.

Suffice it to say, it’s been a rough week. Month. Whatever.

And it seems it’s not just me having a rough time of it lately. Between Brexit and the upcoming election here in the States, it seems a little like the world is trying to tear itself apart. Yesterday I read three different posts about people being tired. And not the usual, “Oh, I had a late night,” kind of tired, either. I’m talking the kind of existential exhaustion you feel in the marrow of your bones, the kind that makes you wonder why you even bother to get out of bed in the morning, let alone face the world. The kind of weariness that tells you that dreaming is hard, and it’s just not worth the effort, and the odds of success are astronomical, so why even try?

I’ve avoided the news for months now because paying attention to it depresses me. I joke about living under a rock, but the truth is that it’s quite nice here. Then I log into Facebook, and see things about how politics are destroying friendships, and my heart hurts. I was actually nauseated a week or so ago after reading that someone I consider a good friend had been deeply hurt by someone she considered a close friend, but whose politics differed greatly from hers. I was left reeling, and it wasn’t even my friendship that had been broken.

Why can’t we all just get along? I wondered.

This post is the first thing I’ve written in some time. You see, I’ve become paralyzed by fear. And I hate it. I’ve been inspired to write before now, but the Doubt Monster always crept in, whispering fearsome things and stilling my pen, relaxing my fingers. Doubt is a slimy, scaly beast, and I’m tired of tangling with him. Fear is his even uglier bosom buddy, and I’ve had it with him, too.

So this is me, trying to rid myself of the Ugly Twins, trying to break free of the paralysis. The silence round these parts will likely continue for a while, but I hope it won’t be quite as quiet as it has been lately. If I’m still, I can almost feel the fire stirring inside me again, the fire to write, to live, to be instead of to do. My embers are slowly warming, and one day soon, a crackling blaze will light my blog again.

In the meantime, though, the coals are perfect for s’mores…

How is summer treating you?

(c) 2016. All rights reserved.


12 thoughts on “Camp what?

  1. bieryj says:

    Kay, lot older than you. I’m in camp too, and behind a little but know I can catch up. It is a pretty nasty world these days, senseless violence seems everywhere. But there is that old prayer, “God grant us the serenity to accept the things we cannot change, courage to change the things we can,
    and wisdom to know the difference.” Worrying and living in terror won’t change the world. Writing something inspiring, or just comforting escape for others, will change it for the reader during the time they are enjoying your book. Focus on work, and the rest will fade in importance.


    • Kay Kauffman says:

      Easier said than done, I’m afraid. Knowing I should stop worrying and actually putting that knowledge into practice are two wildly different things, and I’ve never figured out how not to worry, especially about things outside of my control. *sigh*


  2. Umbreen says:

    You’ve totally read my mind with this post! I definitely get what you mean by that existential exhaustion. Between all the crazy politics happening lately and my recent struggles to establish my career goals (I’m a confused undergrad), I’ve just been feeling so done with the world.

    I’ve also been having trouble coming up with content for my blog lately. When I first started my blog, I used to be so excited each week when it was time for my to write up my weekly post, but for the last few months, I’ve been drawing a blank. It’s almost as if, because I’m so done with the world, I can’t think of anything worth caring about enough to write on.

    But on the bright side, regardless of your trouble writing lately, you’ve just managed to write a post that really resonates with many of your readers. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • Kay Kauffman says:

      I’ve just been feeling so done with the world.
      Same here!

      I know what you mean about having trouble coming up with content. That’s exactly how I’ve been feeling. At first I thought, “Oh, we’ve just been super busy and I’m feeling burned out,” but we’re always super busy. I think I’m still feeling burned out, but I really wish I wasn’t. Maybe recognizing that I’m tired of being so tired of everything is part of beating the burn-out?

      Anyway, I’m glad this resonated with you and so many others! Maybe we can beat this exhaustion together! 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  3. M T McGuire says:

    If it helps, and it probably doesn’t. I am absolutely crapping my pants about Trump because it’s like he’s looked at how Hitler got into power and thought, ‘hey I can do that’ down to the bullying rallies, picking people out of the audience, insulting them and having them thrown out by heavies while the audience brays and chants ‘USA’. He even suggested one group of people he objects to wear armbands.

    On the other hand, change is afoot, and while change can bring upheaval, sometimes that upheaval can bring good. So if politicians learn that for all our love of soundbites, we don’t really like them, if they learn to treat the people who put them in power as human again, if we learn to hold them accountable, maybe the human race has a future.

    Sadly, if Trump gets in then, what with Isis and Putin on the scene, I fear that such an explosive combination might make that future a dystopian one. But I hear you with the exhaustion.

    Most of us in Britain are exhausted, with Brexit, which had logic behind it but it’s difficult to see past the crowing racists and appreciate it, with the fact that the idea of Trump as POTUS is so utterly horrific that it’s sod’s law it will happen. With the petty minded racist horribleness of it all.

    Although I did see this post the other day, from an Australian news programme, which is very cool:


    Liked by 1 person

    • Kay Kauffman says:

      I just watched that video, and it was wonderful! Sending forgiveness viral is a fabulous idea. 🙂

      You’re not the only one terrified by the idea of Trump in the White House. He’s like Yzma, the villain in The Emperor’s New Groove: scary beyond all reason. At least Kuzco and Pacha were able to stop her in the end; all it took was a little teamwork. Of course, Kuzco had to do some growing up, too, but he came around in the end. Not that I think the same thing will happen with Trump, about putting aside his ego and his impressive ability to throw a tantrum…Actually, the more I think about it, the more similar he and Kuzco seem. Scary.

      At any rate, maybe if everyone else tried the teamwork approach, we could get things done (and worthless congressmen would be a thing of the past, a bad dream) for ourselves. Teamwork is what will make this country (and others) great again, not narrow-minded, xenophobic bigots.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. M T McGuire says:

    My bad, I’ve just snoped the armband comment. I saw it mentioned in a report on UK TV but actually I’ve just looked it up on Snopes – which is an invaluable thing and which I should have used first – and it is a hoax. He did say when asked, that the states would have to think very hard about how it dealt with Muslims.

    However, while the armband for Muslims turns out to be untrue, the mocking disabled people and the stuff he said about Mexicans is, unfortunately, not.


    • Kay Kauffman says:

      I’m proud to be an American, but ashamed to admit that he’s one, too. *sigh* Just about the time I thought American politics couldn’t get any more filthy and underhanded, he threw his hat into the ring for president and I was proven wrong.

      As such, I’ve been avoiding the news like the plague. I thought campaign ads were bad before, but it seems like this presidential campaign has been going on since Obama was sworn in for his second term. I’m sick of it already, and it’s only going to get worse until November.

      Not that I’m foolish (or optimistic) enough to think that things will be any better after the election. In all probability, it will likely only be a different kind of awful.

      Liked by 1 person

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