Monday, January 14, 2008

Writing withdrawals

It's been a very difficult two months for several reasons. If you've read previous entries, you'll know that I've been suffering from Effexor withdrawal symptoms, that we were in the process of buying a condo and of preparing our house for sale. Experts say that moving is one of the most stressful elements in a life, after a death or a divorce.

I've been managing fairly well but there's a consequence to all this "new" activity I hadn't considered: I'm not writing.

It's not that every minute of my time is filled up, it's that it's hard to get into the mode where there are a million things to think about. Every time I mention writing habits, I always say to try to write every day, if only a few words. I'm not sure I ever explained why: it's that you lose momentum and, after a short while, you stop dead.

See, even though writing is my life, my passion, my job, I don't feel like doing it any more. I don't think it has to do with me needing to find a new job. It has to do with routine. A well-known author --cant' remember the name-- said that if she waited for inspiration, she'd write two days a year. And that's it.

Writing is all about routine. Some call it discipline, and it is that, as well, but it's also a way to get the brain trained into writing mode. A mode where it goes into painful contractions if it's not used to use words.

After a while, like any withdrawal symptoms from any drug, the effects go away and you're left with only the memories of it. This is not whining self-pity; it's a hard realization for me, because yesterday I tried to think when I last wrote, and I couldn't remember. I started to panic.

So today, this morning, I'm getting back into the routine, if only for writing that single page that will get me going. Time to train the brain back into doing its calisthenics, and producing those endorphins that give me such a rush.

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