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I’ve been feeling many of the same struggles you’ve described here for a long time. Since the beginning of my artistic “career,” such as it is. Call it 12 years or so, maybe? I’ve gone through a number of fallow periods, times when I felt disconnected from art or writing, times when I had a hard time even taking in other people’s work, times when I questioned what the point of it all is, whether I even cared about any of it anymore. I’m in such a period right now—the past year was the worst of my entire life so far, and having still not fully recovered from it, this fallow period is the deepest I’ve experienced. And I do find myself wondering whether I am actually merely fallow or whether I have become barren.

I’m going to say something here that I hope doesn’t come across as condescending, even though I know I would have found it condescending and sometimes still do: you’re still young. You’re older than you’ve ever been, for sure. And you’re no longer a child, for sure. You don’t feel young. But you are. (All this applies to me, as well.)

That is to say, you have every reason to expect that you have a lot of life left ahead of you, as do I. Neither of us has any way of knowing what that life will bring, what changes, what losses, what new beginnings, though we can know with high confidence that loss and change will come. Neither of us know who we will be in twenty years, ten, five, or even next year. It may be that we’ll never fully come back to our art. But for both of us it’s premature to really call this an ending, no matter what it feels like right now.

Your relationship to yourself and to writing (yours and others’) will change over time. That can feel like death, I know. But it is also a consequence of growth. You will be what you need to be, and so will I. You’re doing fine right now, and so am I. It’s okay. It’s enough.

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