No Spoons. No Writing. No Problem??

I crashed last weekend. Well, to call it simply a crash may be the understatement of the decade. Sure, this had many similarities to what happens when my body finally has had enough of being pushed beyond its limits and makes me sit still (usually while it mutters invectives): the dizzy, the exhausted, the sort of migraine, but not really, the stomach upset. But it was more intense than I ever remember it being before. It was my weekend with The Boy, which was a lucky thing for me, because it allowed me to follow what my body wanted to do without having to wait for an attendant to help me do that. Less amusing for The Boy, perhaps, when what my body wanted to do was sleep. Occasionally, it wanted to get up and try to choke down a piece of toast, but then it was back to sleep. The entire weekend, I wasn’t awake for longer than two hours at a stretch.

All that sleeping helped a great deal and I felt better Monday, so I went back to work. And promptly relapsed. I learned my lesson then and kept work to a minimum last week — enough to not get fired, but not enough to get too tired.

Look at me, I’m a rhymin’ fool!

So, how did I spend my week? Mostly noodling around on the Internet (but not too much, because that might be like working), doing certain unavoidable things related to the new position I mentioned, reading and watching things on Netflix. Also sleeping, catching up on eating after four days of not, wandering around the neighbourhood on nice days and bugging the cat. And it’s been really nice.
What I didn’t do was write, but you may have guessed that given my absence on the blog. I had ideas, but aside from writing them down so I wouldn’t forget, I didn’t do anything about them. Because I didn’t feel like writing.

Go ahead, Lucy. I'm not writing, anyway

I don’t remember the last time that happened.

Normally, I have several things going on in my brain at the same time, just begging to be written. Words trip over themselves to get there first, dancing a little jig on the way because they’re so excited to be strung together and create stories. And I am so excited to see what happens. Sure, most of what I write is nonfiction, but it’s still a treat and a surprised to see how it all ties together and what shape the words decide to form. The nonfiction is what gets written, but in the back of my mind, there are a few fiction pieces that are constantly brewing, just waiting for there to be enough time that they can sneak out and dance, as well.

Thinking back, it’s been a while since there has been that sense of excitement to my writing, though. There’s been so much I had to do, so many things to be written, that it was starting to all just become a blur of work. Normally, writing for a living is a joy and my passion and I’m very lucky to be paid to do what I love. But between everything that had to be done, the busy and the stress, the juggling of more tasks than I could comfortably manage, every day just trying to keep my head above water, the passion and the joy has gradually drained out. That dancing energy, the need to write had become subsumed into having to write. And I didn’t notice. Well, I noticed that writing for the blog moved further and further down on The List, but I thought it was temporary. Just because I was busy for a few weeks.

And here it is, more than a few weeks later, and I’ve just realized that I don’t feel like writing. And what’s more, I may not be upset about it. I don’t have the urge to write for the first time in years, maybe my entire life, and it doesn’t bother me at all. And sure, I’m still really tired — the energy reserves are just barely creeping out of the overdraft red zone. If I only have enough energy to get through the day, perhaps it’s not surprising I don’t have the desire for anything extraneous, like writing. Or have enough energy to care that I don’t want to write.

What I do have the desire for, even if only in a vague sort of way, is departing to a cabin somewhere far from the madding crowd. Somewhere in the middle of nature — in a forest, by a lake, by the sea, it doesn’t matter. Somewhere possibly without an Internet connection or telephone, although the practical part of me suggests that a basic lifeline to the outside world could be a safety measure worth considering. I want to retreat there, to a silence that is just interrupted by the sound of the waves and the birds and the wind in the pines. I want to sit on the porch for hours, just listening and breathing in the fresh air. Once I’m done with that — shouldn’t take more than three weeks, a month, tops — perhaps read some books. Eventually, I think the need to write would come back. Somehow, I think that cabin could be where I write my next book.

Or at least start to want to write my next book.

Do you have any suggestions on how to reignite the writing flame? And how to find that cabin without leaving home?


Anonymous said…
Oh, Lene. I, too, write for a living and I also write for pleasure. I draw the similarity between cooking a meal I love for those I love and having to get something on the table during the week because it's late and the family is hungry. Having to do something often sucks the joy out of something -- even if it's something you love. I think you're on the right track -- you definitely need a break. If you can't do a cabin in the woods, can you do a staycation? Stay at home and unplug. Don't get sidetracked by all the have-to's -- just concentrate on the want to's. To me that sounds like heaven! Hope you find your muse again soon.