ricketybridge wrote:I'm just experiencing far too much equanimity to get into these things.
There's a work of fiction entitled "The Brother Initiate" by Sean Russell that you might enjoy.
In theatre, one can see in Hamlet or Death of a Salesman, et al
, a struggle with existential themes that have plagued humanity since consciousness arose. The Buddha also struggled with these existential themes. There is some good material out there, even if it's thin on the ground. You might make more of this sort of work, and point at the Four Noble Truths in various ways through skillful use of writing.
ricketybridge wrote:And writing isn't just an intellectual engagement; as with an actor, if you're going to write anything half-way decent, your emotions have to be in high gear: you feel with and through your characters. This is, needless to say, not conducive to a peaceful mentality. I'm realizing that it's no accident that so many writers are alcoholics or drug addicts or kill themselves.
Just as in acting, however, these emotions need not control you. If you write a gut-wrenching death scene, for example, the healthy writer is able to set the intensity aside at-will. With acting, if you cry for a scene and it takes you more than a few seconds to come out of it, you're probably doing it wrong and with harmful long-term consequences, as you mention (Method acting is implicated here). Anapanasati is guaranteed to help with all this, so continuing such a practice will be of benefit.
ricketybridge wrote:But I feel like continuing to learn and apply myself to the dhamma will inevitably result in my writing grinding down to a halt. Have any of you guys experienced anything like this?
It may, but take a step back and look at where you'd be if the writing did grind down to a halt. In my own case, I was married and heading towards a full-ride doctoral scholarship while my then-wife was attending law school. Now, quite some years later and after many trials and tribulations, I'm working a custodial job and yet happier, on account of the Dhamma. I can't imagine caring about tenure any more, where once it was central.
The equanimity you're feeling probably isn't really equanimity the way you describe it, rather it's more akin to anhedonia, which is probably rooted elsewhere than in your Dhamma practice. In my own case, a bout with major depressive disorder was the result of thinking anhedonia was somehow a virtue - in other words, playacting that I was farther along on the Path than I was. Equanimity, when developed, will cover everything in the world, and the strife and struggle will lessen and drop away, leaving peace - not the uncomfortable dissonance which you are experiencing. It's worth investigating.
Until then, perhaps there is still something conducive to wholesomeness for you in literature and the arts, as I mentioned above.