Wednesday, November 01, 2006

Status: Disconnected

We are heading down south this time next week and I’m not going to get my book finished before then. Still, I have made quite a bit of progress and restored some of my lost confidence in the end being in sight. The reasons it hasn’t worked…

It hasn’t worked because I have had a cold on and off for the last month, accompanied many days of thick fog where very little could be achieved. It hasn’t worked because my good days aren’t quite as consistently good as I thought they might be. And it hasn’t worked because the less mental energy I have, the greater proportion of that energy I feel compelled to use on communication.

I have been pondering this latter truth, especially during the last few days where I have felt as if several of my wires have been pulled. I miss being able to communicate more than I miss being able to work. Part of this is the fact that when I can do as much as this, as much as I am doing today – these paragraphs it has taken all day so far to write – then to do the same on my book would be a drop in the ocean. And anyway, I might decide to rewrite that completely on a brighter day, whereas I won’t have to revisit this ever again.

Part of it is this particular type of boredom that descends. It isn’t restlessness, because it is very easy to occupy my little brain. Only it is not easy to occupy it in any meaningful way. I might spend my time watching favourite films, but I won’t follow the plot and will struggle to get involved. I listen to comedy programmes on the radio and I don’t get any of the jokes (uh… comedy programmes I might otherwise laugh at, that is). And yet it’s not as if I am in a depression where I have lost interest in anything, so I get very frustrated. I need to engage with other people in some little way.

Which is a great irony. On an exceptionally good day, I might happily lock myself up with my work and not think of other people. On a bad day, when I am least able to communicate and completely unable to hold a meaningful conversation, I want that more than anything.

5 comments:

Never That Easy said...

Which is a great irony. On an exceptionally good day, I might happily lock myself up with my work and not think of other people. On a bad day, when I am least able to communicate and completely unable to hold a meaningful conversation, I want that more than anything.

I'm new to your site (Hi, Goldfish!), but this really hit a chord for me. When I am having a horrid day, healthwise, is when I most want someone to come and sit by me and hold my hand, or rub my forehead until I go to sleep. And it's on those days that my pain is so bad, I would cry at the slightest touch. Or my brain is too fogged to ask for it. Or my mood is so gloomy that no one wants to be in my company.

So, thanks for saying it. And know that there are some who understand it, deep down, too.

Anonymous said...

For whatever it's worth, I would add that even under "ideal" circumstances (whatever the heck those might be), it's not at all easy to finish a book, nor is it easy to keep oneself active and engaged with one's writing-- let alone other people-- when you work alone at home every day. (Which I do as well, though admittedly by choice; I cannot claim to have faced anything like the difficulties you regularly do.) It's perfectly understandable to prefer interaction with others locking oneself away to write, write, and write. I'd argue that such engagement is vital to keeping oneself wanting to write, as much as writing as regularly as you're able is necessary, even if the result is only a paragraph or two.

Writing a novel is a slow, frustrating process in any case; sometimes one has to be satisfied with a drop in the ocean, but I think that engaging with others can often increase the frequency of those drops. :)

Gordon K said...

Your paragraph: "Part of it is this particular type of boredom ..." really resonated with me right now, as I'm going through a period of recurring chronic infection that has, well, that effect on me. Particularly the sentence about "and yet it's not as if I am in a depression where I have lost interest in anything, so I get very frustrated".

Thank you. It's cliche and trite, but this short post really hit me deep down. My disability has not had this kind of an effect on my ability to be productive until recently, so figuring out what it all means to me is something that I'm struggling with still.

Anonymous said...

Yep, resonates here too...when you have to redefine "productive" or lose that word altogether for something "other"

...it's hard to get used to...

The Goldfish said...

Thanks folks, your comments are very valuable to me. :-)