Fertile Ground

A writer needs fertile ground, a life that works to sustain them so that they can find the muse or locate their voice. The times in my life when I’ve been most successful at finding good paying writing work (in its various forms) coincide with being able to write creatively. While I look at creative writing as more of a hobby than something to make a living off of, it’s all part of feeling like a writer.

I had hoped upon locating to Tucson that I might find fertile ground here, a friendly atmosphere and work to sustain me so I might write a book or two. Now eighteen months later I see that Tucson isn’t fertile ground for a writer, and maybe that doesn’t exist in America anymore. Part of my early education in Humanities and fiction writing taught me about the obstacles people put in the way of writers and other creative people. Who are they and why do they this? One could guess or speculate, but writers have long seen what they do to kill the creative.

I got at this idea once before with this post: You Can’t Go Home Again. The truth is that there are times in history, particularly American history, where people become so accustomed to their privilege and power that they constantly try to wield it to feel better about their ego selves. Everyone who just read that previous sentence probably thought about people with lots of money and power—the Trumps of this world, the billionaires, the politicians—but the real problem is the people who have trapped themselves in the middle class American dream. They dream of bigger riches, and think they will attract wealth with a weird kind of bullying.

Tucson is a place where thirty percent of the adults have a high school diploma or less. There also seems to be a lot of people with vocational or service oriented certificates. Even among those who might wish another well in their creative endeavors, there’s a lack of grace and knowledge in them to help create fertile ground. Tucson is also a place with a lot of sexually transmitted diseases. So there’s a kind of ‘sex on the brain’ thing happening here, and a domestic servitude swapping thing as well. People are trapped by their proclivities borne of comfortable couches, big screen TVs, and easy access to online porn (with black mambas).

If these people can’t get you caught up in their pretty little liars lives, they feel like you have slighted them. They’ll crap all over anything that looks like fertile ground. It’s a compulsion because they don’t want to look at their own lives; they want to avoid that big karma train barreling down the tracks to remind them of who they aren’t—like some phattie girl who envies a slender woman. A writer got to play dumb to so much in such a place.

Ebb and flow—you gotta tell yourself it’s ebb and flow. Maybe there are times of drama and times of fertile ground. You can’t create when the drama is all about you. There’s a time for the writer to engage the world, to capture it, and then there’s a time to let it go and beat it into a story arc for sanity’s sake. Put down the phatty and get back to work.

One writer is seeking fertile ground again.

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