Road Written

-the creative quest- 

The Flight and Funk of Creativity

Last year, I departed Italy on October 31st. This year, I left for Italy on October 31st. I could get really heady about that and talk about it being a day of death and renewal, but it’s likely just coincidence.
Anyway, I’m back in Italy.
My friends are getting married in Rome over Thanksgiving, and not being one to waste an entire ticket to Europe on only a few days of festivity, I contacted the woman for whom I housesat last year and she was happy to have me back for another three weeks.

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Faith or Fool—What’s Fueling Your Work?

We speak of dreams, hope, and expectations. But how does all that relate to faith?

In this year of pursuing a career of creativity, one thing I’ve learned is how to keep working when there are only scraps to feed my hope that all these efforts will actually turn any profit.

This, I suppose, could be called faith.

It’s not blindly hoping that things will turn out well. It’s days, months, even years of exerting and investing time and effort with the relatively baseless belief that it will pay off.
What is that if not faith?
Or, maybe it’s just gambling. Maybe I’m a faithless gambler.
We speak of dreams, of hope and expectations. http://roadwritten.com/expect-worst-hope-best/ But how does all that relate to faith?

In this year of pursuing a career of creativity, one thing I’ve learned is how to keep working when there are only scraps to feed my hope that all these efforts will actually turn any profit.

This, I suppose, could be called faith.

It’s not blindly hoping that things will turn out well. It’s days, months, even years of exerting and investing time and effort with the relatively baseless belief that it will pay off.
What is that if not faith?
Or, maybe it’s just gambling. Maybe I’m a faithless gambler . . .

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The Drug of Daydreams

My last post explained why we should avoid expectations.
They provide the disservice of filling up present time with things that often don’t come to pass. It’s filling a bucket with a hole in the bottom.
But what if we’re not “expecting”? What if we’re just weighing options, considering possibilities . . . daydreaming?
Let’s get meta. Let’s think about this philosophically: Why live in a Future when there is a Now?
One exists, one doesn’t.

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Hey, I'm Meggan, a vagabond writer on a bumpy quest toward creative freedom. What does that mean? Where will it take us? Subscribe below and come along for the ride.

d i g  i n . . .

Don’t Expect Anything

Recently I arrived to Portland airport at 5 a.m. to attempt a standby flight to Los Angeles.

This meant showing up without a ticket and hoping there’d be an open seat due to un-booked tickets or passenger no-shows. (I have this lucky ability because a family member worked for Delta.)

Usually I know the odds of getting a seat before leaving home, but it’s still a gamble; passengers get rerouted and other mysteries transpire to fill the plane up last-minute and thus leave me stranded.

It can turn into a [first-world] nightmare of hours upon hours spent in that alternate universe that is the airport, like the day that began in Portland.

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Story Versus Reality

In real life, don’t confuse story with reality.

Story can be based in reality, and reality can be based in story, but when the lines get crossed, the track leads back to you.

In the past year I’ve spent time with some who altered minor facts and details in a way that innocent bad memory didn’t explain. Harmless embellishments slowly morphed realities into fiction.

For example:

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The Muse Myth: How Doth She Judge?

suitcase and forgotten or simply left behind, abandoned.
They’re recalled, at times—as the wheels cover road or the plane covers mountains—with a quick tightness in my chest. Anxiety. The sweet date, ghosted, to whom I should really send a friendly text . . . but later.
Do I punish myself for this ability to wipe the slate clean and move forward? Do I give myself a reassuring shoulder squeeze and say, “Hey, you’re doing the best you can.”
Or, do I attempt a coup d’état, force myself to stick with routines in the face of benign commotion? Is that what responsible, focused people do?

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Are You Who You Say You Are?

There are risks in believing things about yourself.

These things you believe? They might come true.

Recently I played trampoline dodgeball. Whatever you think that’s like, you’re right.

Do you remember jumping on a trampoline as a kid? How carefree? The giggle fits? It’s still like that.

The dodgeball setup is about half the size of a basketball court filled with trampoline “ponds” the size of an SUV. You jump from one trampoline to the next throughout the space as you madly attempt to avoid dodgeballs flying everywhere.

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Solitude Smacks

Occasionally there are days (like this one) that fall upon me with all their weight, blind me with the reality that with only a slight shift in perception, a vaguely different set of eyes, it could be proven that my life is not one of freedom and whimsy, but of isolation and aimlessness.

Today, I’m missing the comfort of companionship, the familiarity, perhaps, of a romance.

I miss the feeling of walking up to someone who doesn’t just see me approach, but actually sees me as I approach. I want to be recognized with loving eyes.

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Book Proposals, Feelings, and Anticharities

Because of romance, travel, and creative work, much of my time lately has been spent in the world of feelings (gross, I know).
It’s a subjective place full of supposed intuition, consideration for others, and self-doubt toward a creative path with no visible finish line.
But with the finish of romance, travel, and most creative work (marked by a final round of editing on my end), I’ve been dwelling more in the objective world with the business side of things.
This world includes settling in one location, preparing book agent submissions, and avoiding eye contact with men…
The absence of romance creates perhaps the biggest gulf between where feelings once presided and where rationale now holds court.

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What Rules Rule You?

When updating my Brainfoods page recently, I saw one of my favorite quotes from Essentialism.

“The ability to choose cannot be taken away or even given away—it can only be forgotten.”

At first glance, you might think this quote references societal/cultural rules. For example, most of us grow up believing in the following requirements:

College
Job after college
Family after job
Monogamy
Retire
Hopefully travel, etc. etc….

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What Will You Miss?

Sometimes, when you’re not watching, the mess grows into something too large to handle.
Something has to be done.
You stand there, arms akimbo, surveying the room. What’s to stay? What’s to go?
The problem is that when things get out of hand like this, the cumulative weight of their needless existence catches in your bones, causes you to move more slowly.
Each item you pick up, take in, turn in your hands. You set it back upon the shelf, but grasp it once again before your hand can pull away.
What did it mean to you? Why is it still here?

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Reaching a Stalemate with Creativity

Maybe this is a stalemate.
When you set out on a creative quest, you’re told it will take longer than expected. And somehow you think it won’t quite hold true for you.
For me, it’s my book (link). I figured that when I finished the first draft last October that I’d be done with the rest come Spring.
I’ve never really had to work like this, creating something that comes wholly from me.
Past jobs came easily. I cared (sometimes), just not like this. I wasn’t throwing myself on the line. They were easy, calculated risks. I would succeed, all was well.

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Recently 30, I’ve pressed the reset button on my life and begun a quest to figure out how to shape this thing called life into exactly what I want. I’m self-educating (read: fumbling blindly) to learn how to make a living as a writer and how to be my own business. I’ll be documenting my progress, blabbling about my travels along the way, interviewing cool people, and hopefully making this fun and inspiring for all of us. Join the e-mail list, come along!