I had an idea for a Twitter project a few days ago, going off what I'd written about previously about people publishing fiction as tweets. It's almost done as far as the initial phase goes: the plot is finalized and there's really only one sentence (tweet) keeping the text from being finalized. I'd then thought to have a cover image, basically a tweet with an illustration. I'd pondered the idea of mixing images with the text, but it seemed to throw off the structure, hence downsizing it to a cover. This is where things started going a bit sour.
This has not been a great few months for me, going back to the early weeks of September. It hasn't been any one particular thing, or even a culmination of small moments of unpleasantness gathering up. At least, it doesn't seem like either of those. It's something more deep-seated, less the goings-on around me and more how I find myself reacting to it. It's hard to follow, I admit (and you're only reading about it). The only way I can really describe it is that it's like how I felt in those months after I graduated college. I'd come home from work, eat dinner, watch some videos or play some games, do a little housework, maybe call some people, and then I'd get in my car and go to the library near where I lived to check my messages and do some browsing. It wasn't that I couldn't afford internet at home; it was something more Calvinistic, making it a small hassle I had to get out of the house for. Anyway, I'd get done updating a journal or answering e-mails or browsing, get my jacket on, and go back to my car.
What would happen then is that I would be sitting there, in my car, on a quiet street at night, keys still in my pocket, and feeling like I was going to break down sobbing any minute. It was all there, the lump in the back of the throat, the tears welling up in the eyes, the icky feeling in the pit of the stomach, every breath feeling like it was going to be the one to let out the first whimper, and this colossal feeling of sadness.
It never really went all the way, and that was always the part I found most frustrating. It was like these feelings were rising to the surface, and all I had to do was let them out, give them the floor to say what they wanted to say. I didn't want to avoid it or suppress it or avert it. On the contrary, I wanted to have a good cry. It sounds masochistic, but I wanted to have that moment of dejection. I wanted to let myself feel like a total failure and hit that rockiest of rock bottoms because then at least I could have somewhere to go. I'd take those moments to feel that way, so I could pick myself up and say, "Okay, had that moment. Let's carry on." Sure, it may come back, but I'll take visits over a stay, so to speak.
I could have gone on listing the events that may have been causing those feelings to build, but at the time and even looking back, there's this kind of disconnect in the causality.
Another, more obvious manifestation of these fits of, let's just say it, depression would happen when I would draw in one of my sketchbooks. Every so many pages, I'd find myself writing this almost manic, self-defeating note, practically screaming, "Why do I bother?" and, "I'm never getting anywhere with this!" and especially, "I'm not improving." Like I said, though, I'd have that moment, and then carry on. I'd still draw, I'd still work on art projects, that was never going to change.
Now, though, I think it's starting to. I'm still producing content, but anything beyond scribbles or rough notes not only feels arduous and daunting, but actually oppressive, even painful. It feels like a bad idea, and I should never think that.
Going back to the Twitter story project, after dismissing the alternating image posts and considering a cover prefacing the narrative, I got an idea to make an actual book of it. The story would still go live as these tweet posts (which only number five), but then they would be compiled into a PDF with each one getting its own page and serving as a caption to an illustration. The Twitter posts would be the free version while the illustrated (possibly expanded) edition would be sold on Lulu. I'd effectively eat my cake and have it too, still do this fun project for kicks and have it be part of something bigger and more serious.
Why the Hell should I do any of that?
Why am I creating so much work for myself that I don't even feel I can do? What will I have at the end of the day? Will it be worth the time and effort? Can I do this at all? Should I even be talking about this? All I'm doing is building it up at worst and wasting my time at best. Time doing what? I have no clue, and that's the problem all over again. I don't know what I'm doing. I don't know why I'm bothering. I don't know why I'm trying. I don't know what any of this is going to mean. Is this genuinely being productive? Am I pushing myself too hard to take my work to the next level? Am I not doing enough to push myself? How do I bounce back from this?
What am I doing?
Good night, and good luck.