writing: blowing hot and cold

On Monday, I wrote nothing. If you pay attention to the ticker (and really, there’s no reason you should) you might have noticed it didn’t move. Not because I didn’t update it, but because there was no reason to.

I can blame fifteen things for that: Kiddo#3 had a sudden bout of separation anxiety that wouldn’t let him get out of the car for preschool. Kiddo#1 had a fit about something before breakfast. I went to volunteer at school for Kiddo#2, only when I arrived, there were no kids in the classroom (the teacher apologized; there was an event and they didn’t need me. No biggie.) There were other things too. I went home and web-surfed because I was already worn out inside. I didn’t even pick up my violin while Kiddo#3 was at preschool. After that was the midwife appointment.

It’s dumb, but although I felt guilty about not writing, I never could get up the energy to open the document.

Tuesday, Kiddo#1 had an all-day appointment with a neuropsychologist. I haven’t regaled everyone with his issues, but he seems to be atypical in the way he thinks, and it’s getting harder to cope with the way this manifests itself. We need a diagnosis, and we need an accurate one. We’ve begun navigating that system, and it’s no fun. It’s very emotionally draining because I don’t want there to be some thing wrong with my kid, and yet clearly there is, so I need to find out what to call it so we can treat it.

While in the waiting room, I wrote three thousand words. That was just before lunch. I kind of knew what scene I needed to write next, but I hadn’t planned it out. I just turned off the airport and started typing. And now here I am with three thousand words to show for two hours of sitting. Not bad.

After lunch? NOTHING. Too emotionally discharged to do any more, even though I wanted to.

Why do writers do this? I’m not that much more energetic than I was yesterday. If anything, I’m more stressed. Right?

And more importantly, should I coddle myself this way? Or should I force myself to write, even a handful of words, at the risk of burning out? I have burned myself out before once, writing while incapable, and it took two years to get back on track.

Regardless, I’m glad this is all getting done. I’ve nearly patched up the holes in the story, and I may have a full draft finished eventually. At least now I can see where the holes remain, rather than just seeing a big pit. And for today, I’ll have kept the ticker happy.