When waiting for inspiration to strike, the best thing to do is just write. Even if it’s mediocre. Just write. Write now. That’s been your mantra for a while now, but it’s getting old and worn. Like tired old boots. You just dragged out another cliché, while your pen bled from the pain of doing what it hates so much: being mediocre.
Having a child and becoming a mother, leaving behind a job for a different life does strange things to a person. At first, you see the world through an idealistic lens: everything will be beautiful now that this small person is here to share the world with me. And it is. You see everything through their eyes; everything anew.
Then you see yourself fading, an old photograph left in the sun too long so you try to cling to things: a new hobby, buy some new things, throw yourself at a new project weekly, only to find the following week you’ve lost momentum, interest, time or all three. It’s during this stage you try everything: addicted to something online, addicted to acquiring, addicted to following something or someone. You’ll find hundreds of other women obsessing over the same things as you do, joining social media groups to fuel their obsession, reading voraciously about some spurious thing like latest releases for a new brand of clothing, a woven wrap to carry their baby, the latest everything for everyone.
Then comes the next stage: realisation. The realisation that you left your job, thinking it would give you the time, the inspiration, the talent to write. But you never did. You are still mediocre and your pen despises you for it. It cannot bear to look at you so you force it across the page. Changing your life didn’t change your writing. You didn’t get that freelance dream that you were hoping for. You changed your life hoping it would change you; idealistically hoping it would make you better at doing what you loved. You changed your life hoping you’d have the time to do things that would give you pleasure. And you do those things. Sometimes. Just most of the time, like those hundreds of other women, you’re busy, obsessing over online fads and new releases, salivating at the disgusting fountain of consumerism, waiting your turn to lick the tender young flesh of a fresh kill.
Look at you: even when you’ve realised, you do nothing. You’re still busy being unexceptional, churning out your middling metaphors, throwing out your talentless writing aimlessly into the world, hoping one day it’ll be better than mediocre. Maybe it will. But right now, you’re busy being mediocre.