I’m aware that it’s been more than a month since I posted, and I left readers on a bit of a cliffhanger with my last post. I’m sorry for anyone who was worried about me after reading that. I’m okay now.
What I just went through was one of the most … disruptive events of my life, if not the most. I wish I could find a better word. Jarring? I was just moseying along with my life, happy as ever, got a pain in my stomach one day, and … boom. A couple days later I was in surgery, and that didn’t go so smoothly, and then there was an infection at an incision site, and then there was anemia. It was a lot to deal with and it really threw me off my game to the point that I didn’t want to be out in public with people. I felt too awkward and messed up.
The last week or two, I seem to be coming back and I am so very grateful to be getting my health back. It’s like, when you have your health, you don’t think about it. And then when you don’t, it’s all you think about. That’s not a great system, is it? It would be better if we thought about the health we have when we have it, and not focus so much on it when we don’t. Maybe this is a me and not a we thing?
Anyway, the one thing that hasn’t happened since I got sick is my own writing. Heck, I barely wrote a blog post, and I struggled to even post much on Facebook. I can hardly explain it still, but I felt entirely unable to communicate with writing, which is, of course, what I do.
Instead, I threw myself into my teaching at The Piper Center, and my private editing gig, and new work at the Mesa Library, where I am Writer-in-Residence the next couple months. I’ve been helping tons of people, which feels wonderful, but I’ve been utterly unable to help myself.
I always tell my student who talk about writer’s block to give yourself permission to write poorly, and to take off your editor hat and let your inner critic leave the room. This is all sound advice, but it hasn’t yet gotten me to the point that I’ve written a new word on my newest novel-in-progress since February. I’m sure something interesting is going on there. There must be something existential about coming into contact with your mortality and how it impacts creative work, but I can’t quite put my finger on it.
No matter. Today I am in a coffee shop, and once I press publish on this, I am opening my manuscript and writing for AT LEAST an hour. I don’t care if it’s crap. I simply have to get back to it, as a writer writes, always. Just not this writer, recently.