It’s been a long time… I apologize to you, and to myself. Always feel like a significant part of me dies when I step away from creative / personal writing for an extended period. You’d think at this point in my life I would have learned that I don’t operate well without it! Unbalanced. A little less in tune with the world and my place in it. It may not be reflected or communicated well, but there’s something grounding and satisfying when I put words together on a blank page. Secrets unlock.
So, what have I been up to? Well, I went back to Phoenix and worked for Major League Baseball for another season. I just can’t seem to step away! It was a fantastic experience- I worked in the Commissioner’s Office in Western Ops, Bud’s desk was actually right across the hall from mine (not that he was ever there). Helped with the Arizona Fall League, Angels AZL at Diablo Stadium, and few other various projects.
Baseball is a consuming gig. The hours I committed in order to feel like I was doing a good job were crazy. Routinely 70, 90, and even had a 110+ hour weeks. At this point in my life, that is a complaint. Baseball is a huge passion of mine and the game will always have a significant part in my life- I was again so fortunate to meet great people, icons, be apart of something so much bigger than myself, and turn that passion and experience into a paycheck. However, there was very little balance. I rarely had a thought or a meal that was away from the ballpark.
Normally the workload wouldn’t bother me, hell I would have welcomed it, but I had The Final Book in the back of my mind the whole time. Things were moving along so well with my writing prior to signing up for another season- tons of freelance opportunities and charging ahead through the novel. I felt I was being pulled away from “this” and that my stories and ideas were fading. That job, lifestyle, requires such a different part of the brain. Not that there were enough hours in the day, but I felt I was losing my creativity and ability to express myself.
I assume most people would scoff and laugh at that- for one to “say such things” about even having an opportunity to work in baseball, and the second that creativity is all in my head- my choice whether to be creative or not. I hear that, but I don’t know how to do both. My creativity is a fragile thing- it needs the foundation of a proper living situation, work stimulation, functional / drama free relationships, and the physical release from exercise to even get it turning. Once it sparks, I then need to dive in and foster it- put considerable effort into nurturing and strengthening that part of my mind. Exercises, practice, variety of content, deep-thinking and a bit of hope and optimism. That’s how mine works- I’m not sure about others but that’s how I’ve achieved creative success in the past.
I don’t feel that my head is in a creative place right now. I’ve been away from baseball for 3 weeks and this is the first time I’ve been able to come back to HyL without feeling completely lost and disappointed in myself. When the season ended I thought I’d be able to just dive back in, pick up where I left off- it hasn’t been that easy. Writing this has been a struggle.
So, what does the future hold? Am I recommitting myself to writing? What’s happened with the novel?
I have the opportunity to return to MLB next season if I choose. That’s a tough decision… I love the game. There’s something special about being at the ballpark… The fear is if you reject the opportunity, you may never get another one. Do I want another one? Do I feel I have unfinished business with baseball? I know with certain changes and improvements, the opportunity would become more intriguing and almost foolish to pass up. However, I can’t see a time or place when MLB and creative writing merge and I could accomplish both at the same time.
That’s the crux of my current uncreative rut. Until that decision is made, there’s a cloud hanging over my solar-powered muse.