The Writing Headspace Conundrum



So, I'm struggling a bit. There, I said it.

Here's the deal:

I have an uncle who is struggling with cancer and recently the fight morphed.

I have another uncle with a huge forest fire at his backdoor.

I have a good friend with another forest fire at her front door.

Three days ago, my daughter had a forest fire on the hill across the street and my parents had one in the district of their farm.

And yesterday, a crane fell on a construction site. People died. The first thing I did was text my mom (I was at work so not supposed to know this yet, because, yes, I was checking out the news at work -- did I say FOREST FIRE ACROSS FROM MY DAUGHTER?). My text to mom read, "Crane collapse, man fell, can you call Bri?"

Bri -- Brian -- is my son, and he works in construction. He is funny, and cute as stink, has just a little bit of swagger, a giant, soft heart, a love for animals, is loyal to a fault, is protective of those he loves, and views the world with a logic founded on common sense, practicality, and a search for something more. Also, it is his birthday in two days. I read that there was an accident on a construction site near me, and my heart turned over.

I had to wonder, how many other people made similar calls or texts yesterday? There are a whole lot of construction workers in our area, and I have to think just about everyone here has some connection with someone in the industry. Mom reached him, texted me he was safe, and thirty minutes later, my daughter was texting me to make sure he was safe. That's just how love works -- you need to know your people are okay.

Today I find myself wanting to gather all my chicks close. I don't find myself wanting to call the American art stores on behalf of my employer, nor do I seem to have words to add to the firefighter novel I'm two-thirds of the way through when the entire area is blanketed in smoke and I can smell it coming in from the window air conditioner I am sitting beside.

I've often said writing requires me to be at roughly 80% happiness on the emotional spectrum. Too much more than that, and I have nothing to say. I'm too busy dripping sappy butterflies and light into the world. Too much below that, and I can't get out of my own way to write without distraction. It is a conundrum.

It's a problem authors need to learn to power past if they want to continue being authors. Words can be a tough medium, though, when your brain is darting in a million directions at once because of external stimuli. Some days you can work through it. I have done that. Struggle to start writing, then as I stick with it, the rest of the world fades away and I become immersed -- and productive. Days like today, though, are best written off, and as I told my mother, spent watching TV and eating junk food.

So, think I'll go get on that! Let's call it a mental health day, or a different way to be productive by clearing the path for a better writing experience tomorrow. Or -- you never know -- possibly later tonight. Nina is starting to realize she's not so angry at Colton anymore, and things are getting real... I do kind of want to see how that turns out considering he's coming over for dinner later and she's going to be looking at him with this whole new level of realization running through her veins, and... who knows what could happen next?

Oh. Right! That'd be me! I know what happens next...


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