Friday, August 29, 2003

I'm buried in paper journals.

That's right. The minute you announce to the world you are a writer -- you are immediately given journals of various shapes and sizes -- you know, to...write.

I shouldn't complain. I think it's a nice gesture. But my handwriting sucks. I'm 35 and instead of it improving with age, it's gone from ok to horrific. I blame it on the use of computers. I blame it on using keyboards. I never took a typing class but I can type 90 words per minute and know the keyboard by heart.

So if I have so many paper journals, why am I here? Well, again, as stated above, I'm a typist...in addition to a writer. It's easier for me to type. Sounds awful, I know -- especially to some hardcore writers who think computers are evil. To me, they're not evil -- they're useful.

I've really hit a slump in terms of my writing -- or should I say, my confidence in myself to bang something out. Ever since my sister died three weeks ago, I stopped writing my novel. I tried writing a little article about dog agility for a magazine -- but it didn't come out right. The words just weren't coming. Maybe not the words -- maybe, moreso, the thoughts behind the words. The organization. The flow, if you will.

No, instead I've been in a state of paralysis. I learned that in my English classes in college. There were writers who defined paralysis. Who were they? I can't remember -- though I bet if I phoned Barbara and asked her, she'd name all of them in 10 seconds or less. Me -- I just studied before the tests. That stuff didn't sink in far enough. Though I do remember that James Joyce coined the term "epiphany." I just can't remember who the hell wrote essays on paralysis. I think we spent, like half a semester on that too. I'm ashamed...but not that much. Hey, it was over ten years ago.

So here I am -- not ready to expound on the origins of literary paralysis -- but instead to explain my very own. As I said, my sister died. Unexpectedly and suddenly. Lots of stuff happened this past year -- but I think that was the clincher. It definitely runs neck and neck with the problems we are experiencing in our quest to adopt a baby in Ukraine.

I've been sloth. All week. I originally thought it was because I ran too hard for the race last weekend. There I was -- running the perfect 8 minute mile...when all of a sudden, I was wracked with cramps. Luckily there was a bathroom within reach and so I spent five minutes on the toilet in a public bathroom, doubled-over in pain. If the cramps weren't going to kill me, the bacteria from sitting on the toilet surely would. And I watched my watch advance from 18 minutes to 23 minutes and counting...and I went from my perfect 8 minute mile to a 10:30 minute mile...how bad did I suck? I came in 158 out of something ridiculous like 200.

No -- my laziness isn't just from that pitiful race. It was a combination of things. I began freelancing in the mornings, making my ritual of going to the gym at noon disappear. I'm wondering what I'm going to do when Dave gets back from his tour. How am I gonna workout with my rock star gym buddy when I'm stuck behind the desk making media calls?

It's because my ability to have a child is in someone else's control right now, preventing me from going to Ukraine and choosing my child.

It's because my husband got sick this summer and then threw himself in to his work -- which is why I'm sitting on the couch right now, right next to him, typing this stupid entry whilst he works on his laptop. Such a cute couple.

No, it's not just one thing -- it's a combination of many...and I'm stuck wondering when I'll get out of this rut I'm in. It better happen soon or my body is going to go from a size 4 back to a size 14 soon enough. (I forgot to mention, too, that ice cream has become my new perfect food).

And so, here I sit and type. Contemplative over my next move. Will I turn on the tv or suggest we go to see "American Splendor"? Shall I log off and grab the ice cream or try my hand at "Pop and Drop" -- my new highly addictive computer game? That's just it, see -- in my weeklong disability, I've not been able to make a friggin decision to save my life. That's how paralysis works.

~M





1 comment:

writermama said...

Thanks for mentioning your poor handwriting. My handwriting is something worse than awful but it's just one of many things that will not stop me from succeeding at my goals.

I have a blog that you might enjoy. Hope you are enjoying the book.