Like pretty much all writers at some point (or all the time), I can find it difficult to write on a regular basis, but unlike a lot of other writers, what stops me is usually my health and not work or a social life.
My health can (and has) stop me from writing, amongst other things, by forcing me to stay in bed with the barest of movements or cramp my muscles up so much that typing could be considered a torture device. My health is enough to keep me from writing and enough to work around without having all the usual extras.
Sometimes though it’s more than health, it’s also life on top of health, what’s going on around me and with the people around me. Take the last three weeks for instance; there have been birthdays with one big birthday party for my four year old niece, my eldest brother and his family have been visiting from the UK, my friend Sarah had a tattoo done and I had to go with because the process is fascinating (I must learn about these things as well, it’s my writerly duty or something), I paid a visit to the doctor (nothing wrong, just diabetes stuff), Sarah and I had to go see Fast Five of course (see previous post), and in between all this I must try to clean up at home so I don’t live in a place of squalor, schedule rest days so I don’t crash for weeks on end, and do some things involved with my other blog.
Coming up this week I’ve got a nephew’s thirteenth birthday, blood tests, and organising some things for my book club.
Yes at times I start to feel completely stressed out and as if I’m being deprived something essential like oxygen when I’m not able to write or if I’m really feeling the bug hitting and all these things are cropping up (do I sound like a junkie to you too?), but do you know what? Sometimes I feel it’s really worth it and not just because experiencing life can lead to writing inspiration and character development. I think it’s worth it because I would be missing out on seeing my four-year-old niece in her princess dress and carrying around the card my partner made for her as if it was a special treasure. I would be missing out on seeing so much of my family together and two brothers catching up after such a lengthy time a part, I would miss seeing all my nieces and nephews of all different ages (from 6 month old-21 year old adult) in one place and getting together, I would miss seeing my 6 month old niece for the first time. I would miss a beautiful day outside with my partner, eating breakfast together (really it’s me eating her leftovers and eating solids is something I don’t take for granted after a long time on a restricted liquid diet) like a healthy couple, and would have missed discovering an art technique (something of which I have to try out!). I would have also missed finding several of the members from Watership Down…
… I know Fiver and Bigwig are the wrong colours and Bigwig doesn’t have that cap of fur on his head, but he was the biggest of the bunch and gave the right attitude, whereas Fiver was the smallest and twitchiest of the bunch. Can you tell I love that book? (my review on BA)
The most important thing is though, missing all those things and more would have been depressing when given enough thought because they really are beautiful moments and sure they can be transformed into something written, but that’s just a bonus. Sometimes it really is good for you to have life get in the way.