Thursday, September 12, 2013

Day 249 of the 365 Days of Blogging

The author, Dane F. Baylis






On my way to becoming a writer, I developed a sideline as a professional drunk and pain in the ass. I know...drunk, writer, pain in the ass, where's the difference? In some respects there isn't any. All three are pretty much ego driven balls of self-absorbed neurosis.
The writer is constantly disappearing, either figuratively or actually, with little or no concern for the rest of the world and its plans and requirements. Generally, these sudden vanishing acts are not harmful to the writer or the people they associate with, except the loved ones who took up with a quirky and unique "artist" in the first place. Uh, if you knew they were writers or whatever stripe of creative personality, you should also have figured out quickly that they aren't like the rest of the world. As much as you loved either: a) the early intensity with which they pursued you, or b) the flowering of their personality as you pried them from their self-centered shell, you should also have figured out that it was this same self-centered intensity that made them who they were.
That, unfortunately, a number of the people I knew took refuge from the struggles of their passions and relationships in drink and drugs is a horror story in itself. Some died, some wigged out so badly they have lived their lives in therapy and the line at the pharmacy. Others, yours truly included, came back and bailed out any number of times, only to realize that surrender to a revolving door of misery and recovery was never really a viable option.
On days like today, when I am physically just this side of curling in the middle of my bed and spending the rest of the day groaning, I at least can be grateful that these wounds are not self-inflicted. That I have been laid low by some microbe or other is better than having to look in a mirror and try to find an excuse to keep going. Yes, I spent near five hours trying to find five hundred words today, but I found them! In my former occupation of village idiot, moonlighting as a writer, I would simply have gone looking for a very hairy dog. It is absolutely frightening to consider the amount of time wasted at the bottom of a bottle or on the end of a pipe.
As for the pain in the ass part? Well, somethings we do to ourselves, and others, we're just born into. I reason that gaining a modicum of control over two out of the three has to count for something. Right? The other is something I bring to my work (these blog pages included) that can inform and add color to what I write. I've simply had to learn when to shut the hell up and keep it to myself. This was one of the saving graces of having fallen in love with, and staying married to, the Editor-in-Wife. This woman has been a wonderful collaborator and the type of life coach who has helped me to learn how to keep only one foot in my mouth at a time and reserve the other for standing my ground. For that, Baby, I will be forever thankful.
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------, love, write.
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Dane F. Baylis


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