It’s been a bit more than three years since I last posted to The Artist’s Road. I launched the blog in 2010 to chart a path that I had set for myself to return to an art-committed life. Over the next five years I earned an MFA, won a few creative writing awards, and became a published author. It was a heady time, and confirmation that abandonment of one’s muse need not be permanent.
That’s why, in 2015, I felt comfortable with my decision to put my creative writing on hold to tend to other matters in my life. My career in the Obama Administration was going strong, and I knew a clock was ticking on my service. Another clock that was ticking was time with my children. My daughter had already left home for college, and my son would be soon. He did so the following year.
So in 2017 my wife and I picked up our now-empty nest and relocated 2,700 miles to sunny San Diego. I love it here in America’s Finest City, but I needed some time to adjust to my new home and my new day job.
Then she returned. My creative muse. And boy, can she be demanding.
So I’m writing again. I’ve been doing so for about two months, stealing moments before work. (Yes, I’m still a rise-at-dawn writer, not a night owl.) Unlike my last go-around, where I explored creative nonfiction, I’ve now returned to the creative passion of my youth, fiction.
In particular, science fiction. It’s a genre I grew up reading, and have recently rediscovered. In the last three months I’ve read about twenty of some of the best works ever published in the genre, and I’m continuing to digest them at a rapid pace. I’m enjoying time spent in these other authors’ fantastical worlds, but I’m also applying everything I learned in my MFA program to distill the secrets of those authors, like a California prospector panning for gold.
When I maintained this blog from 2010 to 2015, I didn’t just treat it as a vanity project. I worked hard to provide value to my readers, whether it be insights from my MFA program or from guest bloggers. I kept up on the best writing blogs and websites and shared useful links. Let me be quite frank; I’m not doing that again. I turned 50 last August, and, well, I’m not as energetic as I used to be. What creative energy I have will be going into my fiction project.
So why write a new post for this blog? Two reasons:
- I feel it is important to announce to the universe that I am once again committed to creative writing, and this seemed more practical than standing on the end of Pacific Beach’s Crystal Pier and shouting it into the waves.
- I’ve fallen out of touch with some of the artist friends I had made through this blog, and I’m hoping by posting I’ll trigger some reconnections.
In my travel memoir I wrote about the many artists and creators I met on a cross-country road trip who inspired me to embace my own creativity. I followed their instructions at the conclusion of the trip, and I am doing so again. I’ll conclude with the default title of every first WordPress blog post: “Hello World!”