26 June 2014

Falling Off the Writing Wagon (or No, My Brain Wasn't Eaten by a Zombie)

You must write every single day of your life...
You must lurk in libraries and climb the stacks like ladders 
to sniff books like perfumes and wear books like hats upon your crazy heads...
may you be in love every day for the next 20,000 days. 
And out of that love, remake a world."
~ Ray Bradbury

June is the FLX/WordCount Blogathon!  Join us for 30 Days of blogging madness!



E
very time I thought about writing a post last week, I felt exhausted.  Tired, drained and unmotivated were the trending words in my little writerly bubble.

Basically, I had a six year old living in my head all week:

But I don’ wanna write!
No one reads my writing anyway!
I wanna read!
I’m bored!

Stomp! Stomp! Stomp!

A couple of sleepless nights didn’t do the little brat any favours either.  Add to that, severe adrenal fatigue, the possibility of Lyme, and an unhappy digestive tract (bet you saw that one coming) and you have a recipe for a writerly clusterfudge of epic proportions.

Also known as lethargy.
Also known as radio silence.
Also known as writer’s block.

I didn’t just fall off the Blogathon wagon, I rolled down the hill, through a cow patty, and into a haystack.

Where I stayed, on my back, staring blindly at a blank paper sky. 
Image credit: Quickmeme

Just Keep Writing, Just Keep Writing
But what is the one rule of writing that all writers must learn and re-learn? 

Just write.  Type until you can’t type anymore and your hands look like claws and your wrists fall off and your eyes are as “raw as meat in a butcher shop.”*

Even if it’s gobbledygook. 
Even if it’s  painful. 
Even if it’s messy. 
Even if it’s rough.

And don’t stop.

Because if you stop writing, you’ll start editing.  Erasing.  Cursing.  Eating things you shouldn’t (hence the rebellious digestive tract), and eventually, you’ll stop writing altogether.

The only time it’s acceptable to stop writing is when you’re out living and listening.  So you have something to write about.

Or reading.  So you have writing prompts that will kick start your writing.

Or if a zombie ate your brains.  Because then your thoughts would really be scattered and your writing wouldn't make any sense.

So you didn’t blog all 30 days.  Did you write every day or read something that you could write about later?  Yes?  Great!  Then it was a success!

The Three Rs: Rest, Reading and a little Rx
But my name isn’t Pollyanna or Bright Eyes, or Dorothy.   And sometimes, even the smallest task is simply too difficult when you are exhausted and tired and starting a new medication.

That whole myth about writers and artists churning out masterpieces while high or drunk is definitely a myth.  Not that I was high or drunk, but the new medication…oh wait, it was to help calm me down and make me feel happy. I think.

Nevermind.  Maybe it’s not a myth.  Still not really that interested in testing it out.  Oh, Mythbusters!  Yoo hoo!

Bottom line: I wrote abso-freakin-lutely nothing last week.   Instead, I threw myself a writer’s pity party.  Anne Shirley would have loved it.  I was in the depths of despair over my lack of talent and my shoddy consistency ~ blame it on the ADD. Wait.  Isn’t that a song? 

But I read.  A lot.  Some really good stuff.  Some gloriously trashy stuff.  Some books I laughed at ~ not because they were funny, but because they were just that awful.  Some made me cry.

And some…inspired the Muse.

Which is the whole point of reading when you can’t write and writing all the time even if it’s horse caca.  Because that fickle, beautiful Muse ~ she better not find you napping.  Or at the least, without some way of capturing the bones she throws you.

I mean, it looks like she was also able to get that inner 6 year old to shut up and go play in someone else’s head.

Oremus pro invicem,
~ Mikaela

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