Writer’s Block

Fare thee well, my own true love
Farewell for awhile.  I’m going away.
But I’ll be back, though I go 10,000 miles.
The rocks may melt, and the seas may burn.
If I should not return.
-Mary Chapin Carpenter

Earlier this week, a friend told me that I appear to be doing well, based on reading what I had written lately.  The next day, another friend said the exact same thing, almost word for word.  My response?  “Huh.  Well then I must be doing a good job of pretending that everything is ok, because I’m actually terrified.”

I had to think for awhile about what was causing my writing not to reflect how I feel.

Part of it is sheer exhaustion.  By the time I reach evening, I have little energy left.  I can spin out a blog post every few days, but stopping to reflect and give life to my actual feelings?  Beyond draining.  It takes everything I have to focus on the things I have to do: work, and keep my family running.  There is little left for myself.

I then turned my focus to my writing space.  Over the summer, I churned out a lot of words, some public, others not.  I worked on organizing my writing, technique, and planning.  All of this was in the basement office where my desktop computer lived.  For the past few months, it has been eeked out on the tiny keyboard attached to my iPad mini, while lying in bed.  Hardly as motivating or satisfying, like my writing was being crammed into smallness.  But at the end of the day, navigating two flights of stairs from the master bedroom down to the basement office seemed more than I could handle.  This week, Ger and I switched offices, and he moved into the basement office, and I moved back into the upstairs office.  My writing was far from the primary reason for this switch – there were many other factors that this move made sense.  But after the decision was made, I was secretly hopeful that it might lend itself to an environment that would allow more free-flowing thoughts.

This morning, as I drove to the grocery store, I thought about one more birthday for a child that only Ger and I would recognize, because the baby would never be born alive.  I had to drive past the hospital – being downtown, so unavoidable – and thought that at this point, a loss would mean another dreadful trip to labor and delivery.  I started crying in the car, so much so that I had to sit in the parking lot at the grocery store to calm down.  The air outside was frigid, and facing it with wet cheeks would only mean burning my tears into my skin.

Everything is not ok, lately, but I never expected otherwise.  Perhaps I have so prepared myself for a loss that I am numb.  Living as a ticking time bomb, just waiting for it to be over.

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A photo Quentin took a few days ago.