I’m not alone in this, as I’ve come to realise from reading other friend’s writings, so I’m going to sigh my own thoughts into the open too, so you know you’re not alone if you feel this way.
I don’t want to be forgotten or left behind.
It’s that simple, really, but it took me a while to get there. I spoke to my wife about this meandering pontificating I was doing that wasn’t leading me anywhere, but I was trying to figure out why I was uneasy, why I felt off kilter and melancholy. (Aside from worldwide fear and despair.)
Side track: I got sick on March 15th, and today, April 12th, I’m almost back to normal, if a bit extra tired and still coughing slightly.
Back to my main point:
While I was sick, I couldn’t concentrate for love nor money. I couldn’t even keep my eyes open, for the most part. And so no writing ensued. Some reading, some tv, lots of sleeping. But nothing creative.
And I’m now firmly strolling into a new area of existential angst. My last book came out in November 2019. I’m concentrating on a passion project right now, and so I don’t have another book scheduled with my publisher in the foreseeable future. If there’s one thing I’ve learned about being a writer, it’s that people can forget you quickly, even if they really like you. There are so many other books that are new, and definitely more recent than mine. And so I fade, and a reader might think, ‘who was that writer that wrote that thing…it was good but I can’t remember her name’. But when it comes time to suggest a title to a friend, it won’t be my name on their lips…it will be that book they read last week.
I don’t want to be forgotten, but paradoxically I can’t seem to find the desire to write, either. I assume this will pass, as will the pandemic, bad presidents, the kale craze, and jelly shoes. But it does have me wondering about the desire to be remembered, to have your name spoken by generations down the line. The ancient Greeks were obsessed with it, and I know writer friends are worried about it too. Is it just human, this need to say I was here? To leave your mark so you weren’t just a passing bunch of cellular material beneath a blazing star? That you did something?
I don’t have any answers, but it’s good to get the messy ruminations out.