A head cold has kept me from The Hawk, and while at first I felt too lousy to care, now I’m getting antsy. I did manage to read over the last chapter, written on Tuesday just as post-nasal drip was starting to trickle down my throat. Yesterday I was sneezy, snotty mess, and today my right eyelid is still puffy, although it has nothing to do with the San Fransisco Giants blowing a lead in the top of the ninth or the Los Angeles Dodgers going onto the NLCS. Really, I’m not bothered by those events at all….
Ahem. What I am finding is that for as difficult as it’s been getting back into the swing of my writing rhythm, having been knocked completely out of it is making me a bit crazy. Not like sewing fabric squares into rows nuts; this taps into my need to communicate, even if right now it’s merely for me, myself, and I. Perhaps it’s exacerbated by the fact that I feel relatively close to the end of this story, but I am dying to return to writing, hoping tomorrow will be the day.
Maybe it sounds strange to place such an emphasis on this element of writing, but for me, it’s a vital piece of the puzzle. Yes, I write to free myself of a plethora of ideas and characters, but it’s combined with an equal need to reach out, to speak my thoughts, to…. Make myself be heard, which could be viewed as egotistical, but I prefer to think of it as proffering hope and joy as well as other virtuous elements that uplift and inspire. In an increasingly negative sphere, rays of light are sorely needed.
Recently my grandchildren have mastered how to say Hi. It’s absolutely adorable, also an innate instinct. Humans require companionship, we need contact with our fellow man. Storytellers have been around forever, both for society’s entertainment as well as to preserve history. But I imagine what also drove those ancient yarn-spinners was a basic desire to share their viewpoint with others. My grandkids know very little, well, they’re smarter than I realize, but they say Hi merely for the accompanying reaction. It’s a new trick to master, one that brings an immediate pleasure when another says Hi back to them. I’ve played this game with both of them for minutes at a time, greetings exchanged until they grow bored and find something new to study. Often I’m blessed to have day after day of chapters in the can, and now, with yet one more day passing and no writing happening, I’m feeling trapped. Or rather, a sinus headache holds the words hostage, oi! I know this is a short-lived kidnapping; probably tomorrow I’ll sit at this very desk, wondering how to extricate this or that character from this or that drama. But today all I can manage is this blog post, which perhaps is enough. I’m saying something, I suppose.
But what I hope I’m communicating is that writing isn’t merely to tell a story. The layers of why I do this are many, the pleasures just as varied. And the pitfalls when it falls short, due to illness or writer’s block, can be agonizing. Maybe this is just so that tomorrow, or whenever I get back to The Hawk, I will better appreciate the process. It’s not as mundane as sewing squares into rows for a patchwork quilt, but at times it feels difficult. I think it’s harder not being able to write, for whatever reason. Something for me to keep in mind as this tale continues to unfold.