You Fail Only If You Stop Writing.

Note: Title is a quote from Ray Bradbury.

This morning, I woke up to Djehuti, pleasantly waiting for me to wake up. I stared for a minute and then went about my business, trying to screw my head on straight enough to remember that it’s Friday and that offerings need to happen. Then he waited, just as pleasantly and just as patiently, for me to be awake enough to hear him. He was wearing a three-piece suit, charcoal gray. In the pocket was a celadon green handkerchief, perfectly turned into a triangle and standing straight up. His characteristic walking stick – an item he has done tap routines with when he’s trying to either cheer me up or troll me as his predecessor – was conspicuously missing. He had his ibis head in place instead of the perfectly coiffed middle aged man he has shown me once or twice. He waited long enough before speaking.

“You need to write today. You did not write yesterday,” he says softly.

I close my eyes, standing in front of my coffee maker. My shoulders are slumped, my body is stiff. I am not awake enough for this. “I have nothing to say. I am spent,” I explained.

He shakes his head and offers me a polite laugh. “No, no. You have spoons. It is the morning and that was the deal.”

“I’m taking a break. I’ve written every day in some form or another for nearly two weeks. My spoons–”

“I can see that you have them. You’re hoarding them.”

“I have every right to do so,” I snap.

He shakes his head again. He’s trying to play the roll of guru here, like Papa Legba. “You hoard your spoons and say you have no more. But you have plenty. They are all hiding behind your back, waiting for the choice moment to be pulled forward for use. You are not hoarding spoons and living in ma’at. You are wasting spoons.”

I stare at him, trying to figure out why I ever thought lying to a god was a good idea. “I don’t–” I stop because lying more will only make this worse. “I have nothing to say. I don’t want to write about sacred jewelry.”

He tsks at me. “You always seem to think that when I tell you to write now that I am talking about your blog. I never mentioned where to write, did I?”

I scowl at him and he walks away.

One of the things I wasn’t prepared for was a god coming down from wherever they live when they’re not with us and telling me “to write.” This is partly why I’ve always tried to dodge Djehuti. I have been able to work, occasionally, with Seshat without much heartache or headache. I request her assistance when a point I’m trying to make is incredibly sticky or not fully formed. She is very helpful in that regard, but I’ve always pushed her further back because I didn’t want this to happen. I need not have worried about it, evidently, because as much dodging as I have been doing, it was still only a matter of time before Djehuti showed up.

I used to spend days, nights, and afternoons thinking about what it would be like to be a writer. The form of what I would write has always changed. I have an entire novel that could be classified as urban fantasy, I suppose, but it’s my first full-length novel. It’s choppy and hurried in some places, or at least, that’s how it comes off to me. The worst part about being a writer is if you have that perfectionist gene about it. And I, unfortunately, do. I’ve gotten criticism from my personal clique community and some of my friends. After that, I just stopped writing. Just because I ask for criticism doesn’t mean I can handle criticism. And unfortunately, I am a Leo so no matter how much I go on about how human I am or how I am liable to fuck some shit up because, you know, human and all, I am a Leo first. And all Leos have egos the size of the universe and they think they can do no wrong. CONSCIOUSLY, I know I can do wrong and hurry a novel so I can finish fucking writing it but SUBCONSCIOUSLY, I think I’m perfect and it sounds fantastic.

This is only borne out in how I will go back through stories I wrote in high school and marvel at how creative I am. (And never mind if the stories are any good.)

But the reality is that I wrote a novel about urban fantasy or paranormal whatsit because it’s the in thing to do. I wrote it because I could and because I’ve always wanted to make vampires that aren’t the standard Dracula fair. I wrote it because I had an idea and it was a good one – really – and I just could. The push when I began that novel was for the paranormal, which is borne out in how popular authors like Carrie Vaughn, Charlaine Harris, Michele Bardsley, MaryJanice Davidson, and Sherrilyn Kenyon are. Look at what that twit who wrote Twilight was able to do with a series of books that details what NOT to do in a relationship, either with a vampire or otherwise. I wrote the book because I could make money, I thought, and that was it.

Money.

I’m an incredibly selfish creature, I think. I wrote something with an idea that I have had in my head regarding vampires since I was 9. (I’m not joking. For the last twenty-one years this idea has been trolling around my head.) I made it a slight reality by trying to write it, but now that I go back over it and I have criticism to feed off of, I know that I can’t go back to that idea. It’s not where the heart lies. My heart has always been with vampires, to an extent, but that’s not where it actually is. Dusken can tell anyone what my soul palace looks like and it’s the soul palace that she went to that would tell anyone what lies so deep within.

But there’s no way, I tell myself, that I could write that.

And yet, Djehuti shows up and he says, “you have to.”

A while back, Adaoineile wrote a piece about the writer and the mythology surrounding what a writer’s lifestyle is. I would look for it, but I’m pressed for time, so if any of my followers can leave a link in the comments, I’d appreciate it. In effect, Eddie was discussing how the lifestyle people oft associate with writers is complete shit. I’ll be frank, I used to think of a writer as a person who sat in front of their computer, playing stupid games on Facebook and drinking a cocktail, muttering, It’s five o’clock somewhere. Neither of these possible interpretations of what the writer’s lifestyle supposedly is sits well with me. I don’t like games and drinking; I don’t like living surrounded by the written word.

But, I’ll admit, there was a time when I wanted either lifestyle.

There are days where I cry to myself because I had a dream and I can’t make it into reality. Responsibility is one of those things that gets in the way. I can’t very well see my dreams take off with all of that responsibility. Thus enters the spoon and its management. I have spoons. I have them in abundance. I’ve been misplacing them lately, using too many at work or hoarding them, as Djehuti pointed out, and never getting around to using them. They sit in their little pouch, ready to be used, and I just leave them there. I come home and I lie on the couch and I sit around, thinking about how I should do many things but don’t bother. I have laundry to do, words to write, things to make, spells to cast, heka to practice and yet… I come home and do nothing.

A slap in the face with reality, so early in the morning, thanks to Djehuti.

There are days where I am supremely grateful for gods and the relationships I’ve been able to cultivate with them. Today… today is not one of those days.

Advertisements

14 thoughts on “You Fail Only If You Stop Writing.

  1. This whole thing reminds me of the conver I had with Set last weekend, on some levels. Sometimes we have to do things to do things, not necessarily to get what we think we want or deserve out of them.
    Which sucks.
    Also comes back to ‘its not about us’. :\

  2. Your writing story mirrors mine in so many ways it’s scary. Except I didn’t have a deity around to help me push on when I got. . . careless with spoons. After writing for 12 – 14 years (ie: most of my life), I quit, and I don’t think I’ll ever be able to pick it up again. Like you, I’ve been hoarding or mismanaging spoons and a dream gets pushed back first five years, then ten, then fifteen.

    You seem to have been given, say, a gift. There is surely something in that gift that your gods want, but perhaps the gift is good for you, too. (A faceless stranger over the internet can’t say for sure, neh?)

    Good luck with your spoon management.

  3. Hello. From the other side of the world =)
    Let me just say that I’m lurking around the blogs of english-speaking kemetics for a long time, but I never yet dared to leave comments. I read many blogs, I first started looking at them when I discovered PBP, and later, following all the links from the Kemetic Round Table too.
    And two days ago I’ve found your blog and started reading it backwards – 27 pages so far, already :) and now I feel like I know you very closely. Just like a good old friend. However, you don’t know me at all, yet :) and we may want to change this.
    I don’t have any blog in english (I can read english very well – but putting my thoughts together in a foreign language is much harder, especially if I want to write about important things).
    However, I’m a poet and writer – and have some published books in my native tongue (russian). Still have several works-in-progress, too. So I quite understand your feelings about being a writer…
    But anyway, I decided to go out from my anonymous-lurking mode today just because I’ve seen this your post and I was simultaneously shocked and deeply touched, because I clearly see now that it isn’t a simple coincidence.
    I really think now, that it’s not a coincidence that I, being sometimes really obsessed Djehuty-devotee, read your blog non-stop for two days, thinking about you and sharing with Him my thoughts and feelings; and, you just say that he came to visit you. It’s not only a sign for you, but for me too.
    Now I’m really envy you a little and also feel very happy for you in same time.
    I really wish you all the best and I hope all your troubles of the past will be solved; and if you’re destined to be a writer, it will be so.
    I don’t call myself a kemetic and most likely this title never will be truly applicable for me (mostly because of modern interpretation of this term). My faith is very complicated story, and when I real PBP and KRT blog entries, I find some guidance for my own spiritual path, which sometimes lies in the darkness.
    But now I think I can stay in touch with you, and, when the time comes, also with other bloggers who share the same love to netjer.
    However it was really a bit strange for me that I’ve seen many blogs of people devoted to Sekhmet, or Aset, or Anpu, or Sobek, or Seth… and sometimes I felt a bit lonely :) I always wanted to see how Djehuty is “working” with someone else :) and yesterday at evening, when I finished reading one more portion of your blog, I spent some time in prayer and it was a moment of deep connection and consolation. And next morning, He’s coming to wave you. It’s definitely not a concidence.
    Nice to meet you =)
    Tatiana. (Djd.Djhwtj.s.chkh.t)

    • I know what user you are, I believe, on Tumblr. Satdeshret on Tumblr also works with Djehuty. She hasn’t been talking about him much – she appears to be pulled into a Hellenic context right now – but she and I both have had similar stories regarding him.

      I like reading other blogs, too, to see the other types of relationships people have with the same gods I work with. In a lot of instances, my world with Sekhmet both mirrors other Sekhmet “kids” and also is the complete opposite of their lives. It’s funny – each of us has a relationship with her. And each of us feel about her in pretty similar terms, but we’re all at different levels of the relationship, I think, which is why I can understand where some of them come from. I *think* I’m further along in my work with than most of the Sekhmet kids I know, honestly, but it’s just really interesting to see how others work with her. So, in that, I completely understand where you’re coming from.

      I actually have published poetry in the past. It was in high school and so I don’t actually really consider it as being much, though I have the three books my poems have been published in. Technically, these instances were a “success.” Someone, somewhere, may read my poem and think, “Wow. I feel/felt that way, too.” But now that I have realized that I want to write STORIES, I look back at my published poems with mild regret. Why did my stories never go far but the poems did?

      I don’t know. I’m just rambling. XD

      It’s nice to meet you, though! And let me just say, seriously, the Russian thing just completely melts my heart. I can’t tell you how long I’ve been obsessed with Russian history. If I went back for my history degree, I’d major in it with a minor in Russian linguistics.

  4. There are a couple of really good writer’s blogs that I would also recommend – because you *should* be publishing. I also have a group on FB that I publish links of interest to we writers called Writer’s Muses:

    http://jakonrath.blogspot.com/
    http://www.thepassivevoice.com/

    You have the impetus and the skill to write – now let it support you. That is what Sekhmet (and Djehuty, too) has been pushing in me for so long and it is finally starting to pan out. You can most DEFINITELY do it!

    • It’s scary that you mention you have a relationship with the two of them, as well. It was only recently that I realized Sekhmet’s been keeping him pushed to the back of the crowd until I was “ready.” Evidently, I’m ready? XD

      Thanks for the links!

  5. An hour a day. Just tell yourself, I’m going to sit down for one hour and work on my writing. And I agree that you should get the vampire book ready to publish–there are tons of sites for self publishing now. (Check out selfpublish@yahoogroups.com where there’s lots of excellent advice.) Writing is just a skill, plain and simple, and the more you write the better you get. That’s probably why your Gods are bugging you about writing every day. And never forget that in writing, the perfect is the enemy of the good. I say all this because I’d love to see more pagan writers out there.

    • Thanks.

      When I get my state tax return, I’m going to be purchasing a brand new laptop as mine is very old and very temperamental. I’m hoping that a new landscape, so to speak, to create will help me get over my “wah” about it.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s