I've been feeling pretty down lately, cheery Facebook and Twitter posts notwithstanding. You could call it post-NaNoWriMo slump, and I suppose that's part of it, but not merely because of the change of pace. The truth is, my story was much smaller and less meaningful than I hoped it would be. Less mystery. Less complexity. Not much more than ordinary people in a slightly less than ordinary setting. Simple, fairly predictable. All right, I guess, in its own way, but nothing like my original vision and certainly no Great American Novel.
Which is pretty much always how these things turn out. And I end up feeling rather like someone who sets out to create a symphony, only to find themselves unable to compose anything more than a predictable little single line melody. Depressing, especially when you know enough to appreciate and admire the complexity and texture and richness of something deeper, but can't summon any of that into your own head.
Sometimes I feel like a poseur in the writing and blogging world in general. For one thing, it seems like writing, at least in today's world, primarily belongs to people who come from appalling-but-colorful circumstances, or to people you might call the elite: well educated, well traveled, highly experienced. People who have had the time and money to volunteer in remote locations, or to travel to historic sites all over the world, to brush elbows with the best and brightest in a variety of fields--or who are, in fact, among the best in brightest in their fields.
On the other hand, people from lower middle class but stable backgrounds, shabby but never quite destitute; people without college degrees or exotic experiences; people who settled into dull jobs at a rather young age and who have never had time or money for anything more exciting than splurging on a CD or a new pair of shoes or a trip to the beach now and again: these are not writer material, at least not unless they are geniuses or "edgy" or are extroverts with incredible drive and originality. Or so it seems sometimes.
So I haven't felt much like blogging or working on finishing my story, because it feels rather pointless. And yet, writing may be what I'm best at (which is not at all the same as saying I'm good at it), and I feel a bit lost when it isn't part of my days.
I suppose the secret is to accept one's limitations and work within them. Paint with the palette you have at your disposal instead of packing it all away for want of better materials. If you can only write simple little slightly-formulaic stories about more or less ordinary folk, make them the very best simple little slightly-formulaic stories about more or less ordinary folk you are capable of writing.
But it's hard sometimes not to get so bound up in frustration and envy that you tie your own hands until you are incapable of creating anything at all.