Followup 2 to my “Imma stop feeling guilty about dodging the gotta-be-visible-gotta-react-gotta-be-involved 24/7 noisefest that is modern life” post. Followup 1 is here.
The why of it all is simple: the choice had to be made.
I can interact, manage life’s material necessities, or ideate and create. Not all three. And the world is not forgiving of missing work shifts or failure to pay bills, so it’s the interaction I must trim back.
Each of those activities uses distinct, competing parts of my brain. Think of them as differing fighting styles or building skills. Each one requires a different set of weapons/tools and protective equipment.
I can clank through my day using two full tool sets at once, but all three? Not happening. (With construction in my basement right now, the analogy could be that plumbers and carpenters can work at once, or HVAC and plumbers, or HVAC and the carpenters, but all three? No one would have room to move!)
Also, switching from one mentality to another is a process not unlike taking off one set of weapons and armor and donning a new set. It takes time and energy to put away all the discarded equipment properly and get all the new buckles done up right. It’s more efficient to pick which set (s) to use and stick with them for longer timeframes.
Interactive Communications is the skillset that takes the most time and energy to use and maintain.
My non-writing professions all demand extensive, regular communication. I got into them because I’m drawn to learning difficult things over easy ones. Plus it’s much easier to handle interaction in a structured system when I have a clearly defined role. Counselor. Teacher. Retailer. Trainer. Public Service Staffer.
So I’m good at communicating and interacting with people in a variety of environments. Humility not being one of my virtues, I would even say I am VERY good it.
I take pride in being able to readily talk with acquaintances and strangers, to share, inform and persuade–but I do NOT enjoy it.
No, seriously. The number of people in the WORLD with whom I can interact comfortably–no filter, no forethought before every word, no constant conscious processing of pitfalls and consequences–is a small number.
Writing is work too. HARD work. But it’s work that lets me create, so it’s worth the effort. Hanging out with friends is worth the effort because friends ( yes, that IS a reason.) But those things are both hard and also two different KINDS of effort.
I can’t do the creative writing if I ALSO have to be ready and able to write or to talk my way through interactions AND have to be able to remember things like eating, dressing, paying bills, and getting to important appointments.
So. Less Interacting. MOAR WRITING. That’s the plan.