“Don’t like to write, but like having written.”
~Frank Norris (or someone)
I’ve heard this quote time and again; I’ve used this quote many times. It’s just so true of every writer I know. We have writing sprints, we reward ourselves after the act, we tweet our word count.
Writing is hard. As writers, we have a deep passion and love for it. We study the craft, respect the process (whatever that is for us individually), but in the end, we want to have a body of work to show for showing up.
I had surgery in December and, in January, was hospitalized with sepsis. I spent eight days in and out of 105 degree fever, tired and weak, and unsure if I was even going to make it. I pulled through, in no small part because of support and love from my family and support and prayers from my writing friends here. The only reason I’m sharing this story with you is because after, writing got hard.
I didn’t feel good and I didn’t care about what my characters were doing. I was a quarter of the way through my third 1950s novella and progress didn’t trickle down, it came to a full stop. As I got better and stronger, I didn’t have any desire to pick up where I left off. I wanted to read, to watch television, and to crochet. I almost started to believe my illness had broken something inside of me.
Don’t worry about me, I’m getting my writing mojo back. Last month I began to critique and write again, and I’m forgiving myself for low word counts and the I-don’t-wanna attitude. Because, the thing is, I don’t. But, man, I love to have written. So, now I get it out of the way in the morning. I show up, sometimes in 15-minute increments, pound out some words, and get it out of the way.