Thursday, June 18, 2009

To Write or Not to Write?

I’m propped up in bed with my computer on my lap. This is my favorite writing spot, even though my office is only about six feet away. I am ready to go, eager to get started on the morning’s project. Unfortunately, my mind is not. It seems to be unwilling to focus. What is the project? it asks, without enthusiasm. No part of me is able to remember what I was going to do. Other essential contributors check out, as well. My eyelids suddenly feel heavy. My back rebels against sagging pillow behind me. I look down and my fingers are on the wrong keys. Apparently, I am in the midst of a mutiny.

OK. I won’t write; I’ll read. I click on Safari to take me The Huffington Post. It refuses. My wireless connection doesn’t like this room and fights with me every time I walk two feet from my office. I could try to check my e-mail, but that feels daunting at the moment. Besides, the wireless probably won’t let me. So, now what?

I’m about to panic. My mental to-do list is as long as my arm, if only I could bring it to the surface. I start to type — anything — just to get started. My hands are in full rebellion now. Every other word is inside out. The last straw is mush brain, more officially known as “fibro fog.” I stare at the computer for a while (I have no idea how long) and face the facts. My systems have shut down. They are on strike.

Should I analyze the possible causes? Fight through this and try to write anyway? (I am trying, and believe, me, this is not going well.) Years ago, I read that the body never lies. I have had ample evidence that this is so. Mine is sure telling me the unvarnished truth. Your circuits are on overload! Cool it.”

“Do you ever have writers block?” my students ask me.

“Sure,” I say. “Everyone hits a wall every once in a while.”

“What do you do?” They want to know.

“I get up and walk away,” I tell them. And that is exactly what I am going to do.


walk2write said...

Usually when I have a block it's because I haven't been conversing with anyone. When there's no dialogue, my thoughts seem to spiral down into an abyss of loose threads. Blogging helps me gather a few of those threads, sort them, and stitch a pattern. Then I remember that writing is an art. It comes from within but also from without.