“I never exactly made a book. It’s rather like taking dictation. I was given things to say.”
– C. S. Lewis
This writing thing is weird.
Let me explain…
Lately I have been in a bit of a slump in my life. I have fallen out of love with something that used to be my biggest passion. My sanctuary. My oasis.
I actually stumbled across a poem I wrote years ago about how I felt about acting. Mind if I share it with you?
The feel of the hot lights on my face –
The way my heart beats wildly just before the curtain rises –
The adrenaline rush.
Reality takes a back seat for two short hours –
Life’s problems are forgotten –
I am no longer me.
Scenes and emotions swirl around me
I get lost in the drama, the melodies;
Dilemmas are solved, Everyone is satisfied –
Happily ever after.
Not like the real world at all.
It makes me sad to read this. The passion that I felt while writing this poem has managed to disappear somehow. My escape from the stresses of everyday life has now become one of the stresses. It has become work. It has become tedious. It has become a chore.
I’m just so tired.
Feeling something you once loved slowly slip over into something you dread is a very unsettling feeling. It can really throw you off course. Something that once defined you and made you who you are is no longer something you even like. That’s crazy! I mean, think about that for a minute. If you don’t like the thing that defines you – the thing that you are, doesn’t that mean that you no longer like yourself?
Hmmm. No wonder this has affected me so deeply.
So, my thoughts are weighted down with this heavy stuff this morning – feeling like I’m going to throw in the towel altogether on this whole acting business – when, as part of my normal morning routine habit, I check my blog stats. Now, my stats show me how many views that each blog entry has received, including when the particular entry was last viewed, and it always surprises me when an older entry has been looked at. It makes me wonder why. Did someone remember it and look it up? Did it show up in some kind of search results? What called this old stuff to someone’s attention now?
This happened this morning, and the blog in question was the one entitled Burnout.
I saw that so many people had viewed it so, on a whim, I clicked on it myself and read it again.
Wow. I wrote that?
At the time when I was writing it, I was talking about running. But, reading it now, it blew my mind realizing how much I could take what I said and apply it to my acting. There was a time that I felt like I would never run again. But I was wrong. After a much-needed break, I’m back. I’m even thinking of signing up for another half marathon in November. Being a runner is in my soul now. It’s too late to turn back. I couldn’t if I tried. I’m a runner, whether I’m running or not.
Wait…what did I just say?
I’m a runner, whether I’m running or not.
Now, how about that?
I guess after re-reading that old blog entry, it’s safe to say that I can make the same assumption now.
I’m an actor, whether I’m acting or not.
No matter how much I feel like I’m ready to give it up, I’m not. I just need a break. I really needed that reminder.
Who knew that I would be turning to myself for advice? It’s crazy, man. I read this stuff and it’s almost like someone else wrote it. At the time that I write these things, I’m tapping into a source of strength and energy that is not always there. I’m not always positive. I’m not always seeing the ‘silver lining.’ I’m not always someone who Chicken Soup for the Soul is ready to claim as one of their authors. Believe me. I can be just as grumpy and grouchy as the next guy. But somewhere inside me is…well, I don’t know what.
A muse, maybe?
Oh heck, I don’t know what you call it. But whatever it is, I sure am glad it’s there. And I hope that the people reading this stuff can benefit from it the way that I have.
Sometimes I’m actually kind of proud of this thing I do. I can’t wait to see where else it takes me.
“…Call it an angel
Call it a muse
Call it karma that you’ve got comin’ to you
What’s the difference?
What’s in a name?
What matters most is never ever losin’ faith
‘Cause it’s gonna be alright
You’re not alone tonight.”
– Keith Urban lyrics