Writing About Not Writing

June 2 has arrived and I feel like I’ve just stumbled from a pitch-black cave into blinding light. Two weeks ago, I was sitting in the Riviera Maya and had a waiter named Oscar bringing Coronas and fish tacos at the snap of my fingers. One week ago, my son was in ICU suffering complications due to a bad case of pneumonia. Today I’m back at my computer staring at the screen and my fingers hardly remember how to type. I have not left the world of writing so far behind since I was a girl of four.

I wouldn’t be staring at my computer this morning had my son not recovered so well. We both lived at the hospital last week, with me dashing off for a shower every couple of days and him trapped inside with heart monitors stuck to his chest. I’m relieved to say that he’s bounced back amazingly quick.

So can I please return to crafting little stories in my head now?

It’s been very strange stepping away from the phantoms that continually haunt my head. They are as much a part of me as my arms and legs. Maybe they are even more a part of me. I’ve had them forever and I pretty much have to peek around them to see anything else. It both horrifies and amazes me that I have not looked at them for so long now. The fact that this is a relatively new experience for me is perhaps a testament to the lucky life I lead.

A crisis can be very distracting, of course. Blessed as I am, I’ve certainly gone through similar periods, but I often use the act of creating to keep me sane during the more intense times. If anything, I probably hold onto that part of myself even harder when the going gets tough. It feels weird that I handled things so differently this time. I am wondering if other writers are the same when it comes to the creative process that goes on inside their brains? If so, can somebody please tell me this: If I offer my phantoms a heaping helping of new life experience and maybe a fish taco or two, do you think they will forgive me and come home already?

2 comments to Writing About Not Writing

  • I’m betting those phantoms are gorged. Man, you’ve paid some dues these past couple of weeks, haven’t you? So glad all is on the up-tick and that your son is back at the house instead of dealing with Doc House. Anyway, those phantoms are parsing through it, you can count on it. To that extent our emotions/crises are in the public domain. Writing is a real-world extension of our tattered or triumphant souls, methinks. But we get the option of encoding them in inscrutable ways. Write on…

    — Sully

    p.s. Love the way your title played off of Dave’s from yesterday.

  • Jeff P.

    Glad to hear your son’s recovering.

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