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Slapped with a muddy word rag

Ah, writing.

The cold mistress who beats you with a wet, muddy rag, who demands your words but refuses to help you find them. She of the thesaurus and writers guides and copy editing ilk.

She’s really mean.

And that’s who I’m blaming for not writing right now. I was writing, before I started on the fun that is pneumonia road once again. But I think I’ve lost my zest for the story. I’m not feeling it, and if I as the writer am not feeling it, how will the reader feel anything?

I don’t know. I know several writers who are struggling to write as the world goes through this transition phase. But I know others who are burying themselves in mounds of words and writing three books a year. I’m one of the former, certainly.

But one piece of advice I heard from both Neil Gaiman and James Patterson, as well as David Sedaris, is that you must make the time to write every day. If you want to learn, to grow, to be a writer, then you have to want it bad enough to sacrifice for it. Get up at five am, write before work, write on the train, say no to party invitations and movies. Write, in order to be a writer.

Does that mean I’m not one? Or does it mean I need to get back on the horse? Or does it mean I’m being lazy? Or does it mean that Covid brain is a thing, and the exhaustion and pain make it okay to want to lay very, very still? Is it some combination of all these things?

I don’t know. But I do know that I like how I feel when I’m being creative, and staying positive is important right now.

Are you feeling creative? Are you writing or doing whatever your passion is? I’d like to know.

9 thoughts on “Slapped with a muddy word rag”

  1. COVID Brain IS a thing… Exhaustion is real! As a reader, I will wait until you have your Mojo back. You are that great a writer! No pressure. Just get well.

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  2. My wobbly brain (and the more recent addition to the “ways in which my body refuses to cooperate” team, the blown elbow-and-arm combo) made “write every day” a self-defeating windmill. I tilted at it, but just ended up having migraine after migraine. Eventually I learned I would never be able to write every day, and I couldn’t even count on scheduling when I wanted those “not every day”s to be. I have a kinda-sorta schedule of Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, and Friday, but I know on any given day my vision will blur, and that’s it. I have to stop. Immediately.

    I’ve gotten better at that (not completely, but better). And if Monday doesn’t work, Tuesday might. Or Wednesday, or the weekends, which I purposefully don’t schedule so I can either (a) work on something else beyond any given deadlined project, or (b) recover some ground if I fall behind.

    Making peace with being unable to be one of those three-book writers? I’m so there.

    (I’m not there. I’m not even close. But maybe today I’ll get a step closer.)

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    1. I’m right there with you on this, and I think what’s important is that you’re aware of wanting to do it, and doing it when you can, rather than just thinking ‘I’ll get back to it one day…” So really, I think we’re both doing it right for ourselves. And migraines are so so shit. I’m lucky to have found a medication that has eased them up massively (Duloxitine) but damn do they mess with life built around a screen. (Do you ever hand write? My wife does, but my writing too awful.)
      Bottom line—we’re good. ❤️

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I scribble in journals (and I’m also with you on the terrible penmanship!) and sometimes that works when my eyes won’t take a screen, yes.

        You’re right though, it’s the “today isn’t the day, but tomorrow might very well be, and if it is, it will be” rather than “maybe someday?”

        Liked by 1 person

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