I haven’t written in a while. My shuffled deck of outline cards for Maaneshin have been sitting on the table for two weeks now, in the exact same order. It’s hard to write that story right now.
I started that story for NaNoWriMo 2006. That fall, I’d decided I wanted to undertake a huge shift. I wanted to stop working in the strictly IT world, and move into the more creative world of marketing. I had to learn new skills, I was discovering SEO (my current field), and I was turning about a decade of work history on its ear to better align my career goals with my inner world.
I ended up volunteering for a lay-off, and switching careers by switching employers entirely. It was, in a very real sense, a huge personal transformation. I freelanced for a while, and then I got my first full-time job in the field about 6 months later.
I wrote about science fiction transformations in a very different sense, and the Maaneshin world, language and story was born.
Now, there are lay-offs that are going to happen at work. We don’t know when. We do expect it to be before Christmas. (I’m pre-writing this post on 12/5 to go live next Monday, so for all I know maybe they’ve already happened.) We don’t know how many people are going to be laid off. We don’t know which projects will continue, and which ones will be stopped. We only know that this is coming, and we know no one is safe. Nothing is sacred.
I want to write about my protagonist, Leina, who is trapped in a Tower, facing her own unknown. But I want to write it from the safety of the other side. I want to remember this turmoil. This anger. This pain. I want to remember the thoughts that pass through my head unbidden. But right now, in the midst of it, I find that I can’t write about it. I’ll need to work through the therapy of the whole mess. I think the reason I can’t write about it is because I don’t know my own role. I don’t know which character I’m playing.
Will I be forced to transform? Will I have a choice? Will I be strong and confident like Leina has been? (That’s the role I tend to play in conversations at the office.) Or will I fall apart?
What happens if I don’t?