Good news: I’m not on a morphine drip anymore!
Getting back into my writing groove has been a challenge, though. Even though all of my income currently comes from writing and editing, it’s very hard to convince my friends and family that I’m doing something other than playing when the laptop is out. Even re-establishing a space where the writing happens is difficult. A million little distractions want my attention. My mother thinks I should do “real work” and move crates in her husbands liquor store. I need to find a new apartment. My friends all have some issue that’s way more urgent than my writing, because by their reasoning, I can write any old time.
I wonder if every writer has to go through this. And not just go through it, but go through it every time some significant event shakes up their lives.
No, you can’t just write “whenever.” Human behavior is very much about habit. Lose the habit to read and write every day, and you very shortly lose the ability. An attention span capable of producing 10,000 words in a day is acquired, not found. I could write “whenever” if all I had to worry about was this blog, I suppose. But writing for the newspaper demands that my time be free when my sources are free. Editing a novel demands wholesale chunks of a day, every day. And writing my own novel requires an almost meditative calm. It’s not something I can do in 20 minute time spans between Hardee’s and the laundromat.