For the first time in eons, I’ve decided not to watch American Idol this season. I doubt they’ll miss me. I’m not in their target demographic, nor am I an educated listener. Quite often, I think someone gave a wonderful performance, and then the judges tear it to pieces. And I confess, I’ve only ever bought one winner’s CD, and that was Daughtry’s. So, yeah. No Idol this year.
I will be watching Mad Men when it returns because it’s great writing, but I really need to limit my distractions, and watching TV is low on my priority list anyway. I have far too many distractions at a time when I need NONE. During lunch with a writer friend last week, we talked about missing the fire we had when we wrote our last books, when the words came so fast we could barely keep up. I’ve had little success stoking that on my WIP.
Recently, I’ve read some blog posts about “excuses” for not writing. Needing long periods of quiet, uninterrupted time was mentioned as a bogus excuse. Well … maybe for those writers it is. I know many writers have small children and manage to write prolifically. I know many writers have day jobs and manage to write prolifically. I’m not one of those writers.
Last year, my schedule changed drastically. Gone, instantly, were the 40 hours per week of being alone, in silence, to write. I knew it might be harder to do, but I thought I could carry on. After all, I had this writing thing down pat. Maybe I could have if the stresses of those circumstances had not increased my fibromyalgia symptoms. It sent them raging, to be honest. Physical pain, I can work with, through, or around, but some of my symptoms are brain related, and that’s a bummer when you’re trying to write.
At times, my brain is foggy. I see the scene, I just can’t quite translate it to words. Like fish in water, the words are right there, but they slip out of my fingers when I try to grab them. Sometimes I can only see the shadows in a scene and when I look for the objects that cast them, they jumble and I can’t make sense of anything. It’s like The Muse is teasing me. Cruelly.
Then there’s the ADD-like symptoms. I open my file, type a few words, and then I find myself in the kitchen making tea. Or checking the pantry for dinner ingredients. Or googling for toothpaste without sodium laurel sulfate. Or playing a Facebook game. Or—believe it or not—cleaning out the junk drawer. Why did I stop writing? I have no clue. It just happens. Abducted by my alien brain.
When I realize what’s happened, I sit back down. I may write a paragraph or two at a time, so that’s progress of a sort, but the pace is horribly frustrating. It’s not as if I’m a literary writer who turns out a masterpiece every decade or two. So, the writing’s not going too well, but it’s not for lack of trying.
By the way, if any of you fibro suffers have a suggestion for fighting the fog and lack of concentration, I’d love to hear it.
29 thoughts on “Not writer’s block, it’s an abduction!”
I was diagnosed with FMS in 1995, refused the sleeping pills, anti depressants, and started my own research. Every symptom led me back to diet problems/solutions. I beat it by 2000 with absolutely healthy food and water (no take out, canned, salted, preserved, colored, etc), de-stress (no night commitments, etc.) daily exercise (started when I was in total pain), with the help of naturopath and chiropractor and masseuse and praying friends. I recommend the Well Being Journal by Cappacione (1995). I wrote a lot about it: http://www.fibromyalgiawisdom.blogspot.com. It was make it a priority at age 54, or spend the next 30 years in pain. Take charge. It’s your first priority challenge.
Another voice of experience. Thanks for commenting, Mary Jean. I’ve never really taken it seriously before this past year because my symptoms were manageable, but I know I need to get serious now. I can see how you made a total life change. That’s overwhelming to look at it whole, but I can do it one or two steps at a time.
Do it whole: de-stress, improve diet, exercise. Start small. In a few weeks you will see improvement. Keep records or you won’t really know.
Thanks for the advice, Mary Jean. 🙂
Linda, I believe that diet affects everything .. and why wouldn’t it? You know the saying, ‘you are what you eat’. Whatever we put into our bodies shows up in some way .. good or bad. Sadly, we have moved so far from natural healthy foods, or added junk to them, so that now we are suffering the results. I have had to change my diet due to intolerances and sensitivities to lactose, gluten, sugar, yeast, eggs .. and on goes the list. I have added some things back in but I can’t say it is the best thing I can do for myself. I feel better when I eat better, makes sense, doesn’t it?
May I give you a diversion? I have given you The Versatile Blogger award and you can find out the details in my January 22’12 blog post. http://www.lynnadavidson.wordpress.com
Blessings on your day and week. 🙂
Well, Lynn, I certainly can’t claim I eat only natural foods and a balanced diet. Improving diet is first on my list. Thank you for the award. It may take a bit before I do another linky post, but I will get to it. 🙂
I was having some of the same issues you mentioned. I finally put some blank, lined paper in a clipboard, grabbed a pen and went to the local coffee shop. For the price of one tea, I sat there for hours penning out whatever part of the story came to me. That helped immeasurably.
Good for you, Jess. My fog has cleared somewhat now, and I’ve been working on a short story. 🙂