Sunday, October 26, 2008

If you can't write, rearrange

After returning home from the hospital last month, I forced myself to write. It didn't go well.

Even though I wrote more than 14,000 words--approximately 11,000 of them for a novel and the rest bits and pieces of various short stories--I struggled to produce each word, each sentence, each paragraph. The harder I fought to get the words on the screen, the more frustrated and depressed I became. Writing had never been like this. For years, fiction poured out of me as if it was water from the tap; it had become more like raising water from a well one thimbleful at a time.

A friend suggested that I stop forcing myself to write and, instead, let creativity return in its own time. So I haven't written fiction in a week. I may not write fiction next week or the week after.

But I can't stay away from my office. And if I'm not sitting at the computer working on a new short story, I must have something else to keep me occupied.

A few weeks before surgery I purchased two new shelving units as part of my long-term goal of redecorating and updating my office. Friday evening I assembled one of them--a job that I would have knocked out in half an hour or so pre-surgery, but which took several hours to accomplish. Saturday I moved the new shelving unit into my office and spent the day unloading the old bookshelves, discarding unwanted books and papers, and arranging things on the new shelves. At the end of the day I was quite pleased with the result.

My office is slowly becoming the inviting, attractive, and well-organized environment I want it to be.

Am I any closer to writing because of my efforts this weekend?

Probably not.

But my office looks so much nicer.

1 comment:

pattinase (abbott) said...

I'm sure it will come back. A colleague of ours took about three to four months. But now he's going better than ever, more energy than in years.