The Keyboard Still Waits

It seems that my post of April 2, Getting Back to the Keyboard, was somewhat over-optimistic. What seemed like a one-time health incident has become the too, too solid foundation of my existence, a fact that isn’t going to change signifcantly. Whether I blame it on the condition itself or the ever-increasing and changeable assortment of meds I’m taking, writing creatively, or writing more than a few lines at a time, has become a distant goal that doesn’t seem to be coming any closer.

But the new kind of nights, boring, frustrating, frightening, in which sleep stays away for hours, at least has one use. I have plenty of time to think about what I still can’t write. The rewrite of Gift of the Ancien got sideswiped, the actual writing of it, but there’s no shortage of new ideas. Nothing is for sure until the actual words can be put down, but some of the ideas address — or seem to address — the ongoing weaknesses in my writing. So maybe this rewrite — if and when it happens — will not just improve the novel but take me a step closer to being the writer I want to be.

Is a two-paragraph blog post a step toward that goal?

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11 thoughts on “The Keyboard Still Waits

  1. If you can’t write fiction, but you can think and write about fiction, it’s still better than not being able to.

    I didn’t get any fiction written today – things came up in the morning, and after that I can’t write anyway, plus ended up weeding the wild strawberries which were getting out of hand.

    But there better be some words tomorrow.

    Like you, I got far behind with all the side effects knocking me over. Life doesn’t wait – it just piles more stuff up on the list. But I can remind myself how much I like my story, and dislike sitting around doing nothing, and eventually I may get there. If not, I already wrote the post about the one-book author. Hope that’s not me.

  2. However many books we write, I think it’s more about (or should be about) our personal need as a creator. Luck may or may not strike for a multi-book writer just as for a one-book writer. I wonder if the pressure of creativity is more likely to push us through the hard times, than the obsessive attempts at manipulating the market which seem to dominate so much thinking (and activity).

    What is the difference, really, between a period blindsided by med side effects and consequent mental “disability,” and any period of writer’s block or burnout, except that one is artificially induced? Neither is voluntary. Looking at it objectively, I should be able to use them in the same way: unable to get the words down, but still capable of the interior mental work that leads to the words eventually. Daydreaming. Imaginary dialogues. What-if scenarios. And whatever takes place at an unconscious level, out of sight.

    Necessity (or desperation) as the mother of invention.

  3. I lost the capacity for the interior mental work. Completely. THAT was the scary part.

    If some was going on, literally in my absence, I’ll find out later. I know I may be able to use some of the experiences when I need them for a plot point (though that basket was already quite full, and did NOT need topping off). But it was completely dead in there, and all I could do was record the pain, as if anybody cared. Certainly not the doctors.

    1. Let’s hope the interior work is still going on, even if you’re not aware of it. That often happens. When you’re back to yourself, and you *will* get there, there might not be any way to measure or analyze, but some things function in their own mysterious way. I’m trying to be open to that.

      1. I’m open to the possibility – but there certainly has been no conscious component to it. There have been glimmerings these last two days, but it’s taking me so long to get to the place where the brain agrees to be used, that there is no energy left to do it with.

        I’m still annoyed that the recovery is so long and that the procedure plus drugs caused so much of the trouble. I just wrote to a male colleague who expects to go in Monday, stay over night if they put another stent in, and be back to work a day after that! I hope so, for his sake (and maybe his wife’s sake), but I had the same expectation, and got kicked in the teeth, and he starts from healthy and will probably be healthy afterward. We’re about the same age, which makes it more annoying.

        “Those who have will be given more” always seems both true and unfair.

        OTOH, I doubt he could write what I write in a thousand years (assuming I still have the capacity somewhere).

  4. Glimmerings are a positive note. That’s what I’ve been seeing lately. Even though I haven’t had the energy to act on them yet, the mere fact that they’ve been showing up is encouraging. A promise that the long dark tunnel doesn’t go on forever?

  5. When I was young and had the energy to be really crazy, I used to go to a little psychaitrist. After I’d unloaded my woes for the week, he’d lean forward and say in his soft voice, “Yes, but are you coping?” and I’d be surprsed every time to discover that I was, I actually was. I’m reminded of that now. Reading the comments above, I think you’re both coping. And that counts for a lot. Warm wishes, Dani.

      1. I don’t know what to say, guys. I keep you both in my thoughts always. I wish that would help – and, if it’s any use, I admire you both tremendously. People who go ahead are like lamps on the way. I remember telling Catana once, years ago that she was like a lamp in the digital forest for me. Well, there are tougher forests out there than the digital ones.

        1. Wow, I don’t know what to say, Dani, except thanks. The encouragement is particularly timely since I’m about to confront my cardiologist today about some of his assumptions. To some extent, I’m in the same kind of fight as Alicia is having, with all the frustration and risks.

  6. I second that motion. Coping doesn’t get you any fiction written: that’s a creative endeavor, way above ‘coping.’ I have lived at so low a level for so long, it’s discouraging to see I can go lower. At least before, it was low but had writing fiction in it.

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