Sighing, squirming, brewing coffee, clicking on site after site I’m avoiding what’s in front of me. Notes line the margins of my manuscript and questions fill my mind as I tap, tap the keys attempting to ‘say what I mean’ and develop this story.
I write about the sounds and sighs of summer – how it became a season of scars. I write about losing Betty. What did she say just a couple of weeks before she passed away? And I write about my reaction to the doctor delivering the news. “I’m sorry, Heidi. We have to amputate.”
When I began this memoir I knew it would take a toll. I cried, drove on winding back roads, wrung my hands, and got it out. Almost three years later I have the incredible fortune of a book deal. I’m grateful. This is a rare opportunity and it’s a dream come true. And now, right now, I’m a little stuck.
I delve into my story, tugging on a history I worked hard to overcome. I realize this is the point of the book. To know one can be devastated and survive. It is possible to get to the other side. I just hope I can write to the other side. I want to finish well. While I have supportive, loving people in my life, writing can be lonely. I am my very own annoying exhausted cheerleader. You.Can.Do.This. Keep.Going. And I don’t know about you, but I am easily distracted.
There is a life to participate in and pursue. It wasn’t my intention to let life get this busy and I wish I could be all Little House on the Prairie running in the meadow and splitting wood with Pa. But, that is not my reality. I have a family, a house and a DVR to look after! This week my job is to temper my daughter’s dream of becoming a ballerina, work on my son’s listening skills, fold the laundry this time, wrestle with guilt, watch Parks & Rec, and nosedive into recovery.
I sit behind the computer staring at my screen. Start, stop, start, stop. Stand up, sit down. So. This is writer’s block.
What do you do when you can’t write?