I know this might come as a shock to those who know me but sometimes I run out of words. My Irish relatives would declare me dead and prepare to have a wake…The reasons for my drought could be:
- Some sort of domestic disaster like the principles of two different schools calling me more than once in a week
- A pet dying
- A human dying
- Me getting sicker than a pack of sick, wild dogs
- Me getting kidnapped
- Burn out
Actually, reasons 1-3 would probably result in multiple blog posts, a short story, and the beginnings of another novel because when I grieve or stew, I usually write (this trait has saved me tens of thousands of dollars in psychiatrist fees). Reasons 4 and 6 are the most likely to shut me up. I’ve never been kidnapped so I can’t really say how that would affect me.
I’ve been sick for days. Not laid out, fever-baked, or worshipping the Porcelain God, just a head cold. But sometimes a simple cold can utterly defeat. This cold made me stupid. I mean, wifty-fuzzy. I couldn’t even drive competently. I couldn’t form a thought let alone a sentence and when I did, I made no sense. I’m sure my neighbours think I have a wicked little drug problem…
I’m feeling a bit better now – enough to feel like sitting down at the computer for more than five minutes at a time. The weather has been gorgeous leading me outdoors as opposed to sitting hunched over my keyboard. I even planted some stuff in my pathetic wee garden.
It has occurred to me the past few days that I might have a touch of burn out as well. Maybe this head cold was the universe’s way of saying, “Slow down. Take time to breathe. Don’t wig out about the writing so much.”
Kristen Lamb published a blog recently that made a whole lotta sense. Now, there is one prolific blogger! Her blogs are long, detailed, intense, useful, and funny – I don’t know how she does it. But, the Energizer Bunny-Blogger recently admitted that she’s a bit tuckered out. So, she’s taking a week off. Perish the thought? No.
Kristen is one busy lady. She is a published author, a blogger with tons of followers, she teaches, she does back-breaking work on her ranch in her “spare time”…she has the right to take time off. But, me? Not so much. I’m still scrambling up the side of the mountain and therefore feel I don’t deserve to rest.
There’s a voice in my head calling bullshit. Everyone needs a rest now and again, be they established writers or those still staring up from the bottom of the hill. Everyone’s batteries need a re-charge. There’s no shame in it – or there shouldn’t be. Even when forced to rest because of a brain-fuzzing head cold, I suffer as much from guilt as I do from the illness. Kristen’s blog post was as timely as the cold.
I read two books whilst sniffling away, one of them Wuthering Heights by Emily Bronte. Poor girl. I can’t even imagine what her home life must’ve been like out on the Yorkshire moors to produce such a twisted tale. I read another book too – largely forgettable. I slept. I wrote nothing – maybe one sentence on Facebook. I survived the guilt and the cold.
Today, the fog has lifted somewhat and I have resolved to ignore the caterwauling of my cat and the sunny weather. I might only manage one square inch or I might surprise myself and write multiple pages. It matters not. Every step up the mountain is a step well taken – and every stop for rest is necessary, too.