I've been going around and round for the past few months and not accomplishing anything towards the forward progress of Don't Get Your Panties in a Wad. It is frustrating writing after a stroke. Sure, I can blog, but writing a book is different.
The muse just aren't with me when my focus is scattered in too many different directions. I used to call myself a master juggler. Not any more. It's tough tossing one ball in the air and catching it.
Could part of my problem be fear? Possibly. With two agents chomping at the bit trying to sign me up for this book and talk about an auction, the old fear of have I still got it comes into play. I've been analyzing everything as to why I've stopped writing this book. Maybe Alex's Insecure writer's group would help, but that's not the only reason.
As I mentioned Wednesday, I had the opportunity to speak with a teenager doing her volunteer time in therapy before going to college for a PT license about writing and publishing. Did you know they have to log 100 hours volunteer in a PT/OT center before they can be accepted into school? I didn't until my stroke.
Anyhow getting back to this young girl, when she found out that I was a previously published author she lit up with excitement. She was writing a novel herself. Then we started talking about writing after a stroke. She couldn't understand what the difficulties were. Of course not. It's all about your point of view and experiences. There is no way a 17 year old girl is on an even playing field with me having grandchildren her age and recovering from a stroke.
So I broke it down for her.
- In writing you plot out your stories. It takes sequencing and linear thinking. Both of which were impaired with my stroke. Although I'm working at it, there is still a deficit.
- In writing you need command of the language you are writing in. I lost all fluency in languages except English, my third language. Spelling went out the window as did all but simple grammar. When before your stroke you were fluent in eight languages and you are left with one, it can be quite disheartening. Not to mention you are not even fluent in the language you are now speaking. This is evident by all the red and green squiggly line in what you are typing. It gets really irritating when you think you used to write 50-100K words in three months without either.
- In writing you need to be able to focus and not be scatter brained. Now with my "Dyslexic/ADD" any interruption is the death of whatever you had in your mind. That's me now since the stroke.
Wrong. I managed to write so many words because I really did not have many demands on my time. Now, I'm driving, gardening, cooking and my husband's care issues has escalated. Marry that with the low energy levels that plague me, it spells disaster. My muse and desire to write hides under the bed whimpering like a dog during a thunder storm. When I ask my neurologist when can I expect my energy level to return to somewhat normal, I get the depends and every stroke is different answer. At first she said after a year, but I'm there now with no return of my energy. If you don't know something, just say you don't know.
I still need a nap or two to get through the day depending on what's going on. Then I'm in bed sleeping by ten even with the naps. We're not talking about my old twenty minute power naps either. I'm talking a hour at least possibly three. Now admittedly, I am no longer leaving the therapy department with the vague sense of nausea and falling in bed on arrival home anymore, but on therapy days I'm done for anything more strenuous. I do my gardening, chicken and rabbit care before therapy because I won't have the energy afterwards..
In the old days, I used to build myself up to get more energy. Do one more set of ten or twenty in exercises, but a stroke is weird. The build up just doesn't work. Granted I'm better than I was a month after the stroke but less than 25% of my norm which isn't good. I watch my grands play nonstop and wonder the age old thought of if I could only bottle it, I'd be a millionaire. It's not like pain is draining my energy because the Botox injections knocked most of that out. 5-Hour Energy drink be damned. It doesn't work in this case. All it does is give me heart palpitations from too much caffeine.
So when will I finish this book? I dunno. I'm biding my time because eventually it's got to get better.
Nothing is impossible with determination.