Part of an E-MAIL I WROTE to a friend Yesterday
Thanks for this personal note from a couple weeks back. I've not been in a very communicative mode, oddly for me, but of course I LOVE (love love) hearing from others.
I can't blame being busy with The Book, as I've not been working on revisions, though I need to: right now it's too much research, too little writing.
I'm a bit disheartened because to make it excellent, I'd need another year or so to spin each chapter into a story, to find more people's stories to flesh out the facts.
I do have a couple more months, in fact, but I'm not highly motivated. Besides general laziness, I wish I could melt my resentment (my old bugbear) about the George Washington book, but that resentment sits and glowers.
I expect every writer finds something external to blame for Not Writing, at some onerous point in the process, when the whole thing has ground to a halt and inertia has set in. I mean, there's always something to hand, eh? And not a little irrelevant something, either, and not imaginary. I mean real, important reasons.
You either write through those, or you don't.
At the moment, I'm not.
Some do, though, as I'm reminded by Wilkie Collins.
I'm on a novel reading kick for the first time in a decade, and last night I started Collins' The Moonstone, which I'd loved when I was a kid.
In the preface, he says that as he was writing it, he suffered the worst crises of his life--his mother was dying and he was in terrible pain.
He suffered from "rheumatic gout", and, he doesn't mention this, but he became addicted to huge doses of opium for the pain.
But, he says, he didn't want to disappoint his readers--the book was being published serially--so he wrote through it.
I'm glad he did, for my sake: it kept me reading until 2 a.m.
Maybe I'll get my writing wind back. I don't actually have much else I need to be doing until I go to Spain ... except get in some kind of physical shape to go to Spain!
Pain is a good motivator.
Motivated by that, bink and I've signed up for a 6 week "get in shape" program at the YWCA. It starts today--we go and get measured by some fancy machine that I expect will discern, correctly, that I spent all weekend eating Oreos and oranges and reading novels.
The Camino. I don't really know what to expect. You're right it could be good, open time to think about life and writing. But I have so much open time in my life, I don't really need that.
Probably I'm most motivated with the desire to get in touch with my BODY again.
It's been quite a while---the turning point was my gallbladder surgery two years ago, which gave me an excuse to not exercise. Right, you're not suppose to exercise much for 6 weeks, but I stretched that out into two years. No exercise, not even sex, just rolling out of bed, walking the 6 inches to the computer, and sitting there blogging, vidding, FBing, e-mailing, surfing, writing for work...
I've loved that! If inactivity didn't cause the body to start to decay, I'd be fine with it, actually. But the ol' bod used its Red Alert system--pain--to remind me that it doesn't really want to decay before it's time.
So, off I go.
I'm really excited about another aspect too:
Did I tell you I (and bink, of course) invited my blog friend of smoothable blog, and she's coming too?
I've enjoyed her brain so much in blog form, I hope we enjoy each other in person too.
Of course it's a bit of a risk, walking for 6 weeks with someone you've never met face to face, but the Camino is incredibly flexible: if any one of us wants a break, however long or short, it's easily arranged---we just walk at different paces until one of us has disappeared over the horizon, and we meet up at the end of the day, or in the next big city, or the airport going home.
When I look back at the 3+ years I spent blogging, I'm AMAZED at how much love and energy I poured into it. Amazed and thrilled. What a great thing to do!
I don't know why I don't want to right now, but I don't.
Maybe next week I will. Or not.
You've been through this, I think---I think many (most?) bloggers eventually hit a lull.
I just want to read novels. Maybe even try my hand at fiction, which I've never been good at.
Well, we shall see.