I've been away tending to sick eyes -- infections and cuts and all kinds of "gah!" conditions that forced me to wear a weak, old prescription pair of glasses.
Reading and writing scooted away -- indeed, light hitting my eyes was for a time, unbearable.
I am about to try my new contacts this weekend and see how it goes. In the meantime, I have been well aware of the sensation that leaves me drained, itchy, skittish, irritable and depressed -- writing withdrawal.
I have no idea how other people react to weeks without creating words, but I can tell you in my case, it's all tied to the condition of the psyche. For me, the three demons -- fear, dread, and anxiety -- find a good nesting place in the void, slowly and determinedly eating away at any resolve, direction, self-confidence I have. They bore holes into my creative thought processes.
Writing is a drug -- my drug of choice. And while writing may seem similar to bike riding, with the old adage about how you never really forget how to do it, I find it painful on the re-entry.
Things pop into my head like:
What was I thinking when I said I could write?
Will I ever find my way back to the land of Oz?
If I look at some of my manuscript lying fallow, will I read with horror and discover I never had any talent at all?
I better not look at my work...
The more I think about these self-destructive thought processes, the worse it gets. I wonder...do other writers feel this way? And, my hunch is yes...yes, they do.
The thing is this -- the entire act of writing is a very solitary affair involving a mind and a blank screen or sheet of paper. And the very act of putting words on that blank universe is a task undertaken by the writer willfully.
Now, what kind of crazy person would even put him or herself in such a position to begin with?
Well, that's just it -- you do have to be some kind of particularly crazy sort of person, if you want to write.
And, you have to understand at the get-go that other normals in the corporate, 9-5 world, may look squinty-eyed at you and pity you, and decide you are wholly delusional.
Writers really need to hang out in one way or another with other writers or artists because theirs is a world which lies at the polar opposite of the mainstream.
All art is based on acts of blind faith. And the funny thing is, without this kind of art invading the solidity of the workaday world, there would be nothing to entertain us, or stimulate us. There'd be no jokes, no drama, no splashes of colour and whimsy; certainly, there would be no fantasy worlds in which to escape. And no civilization has ever endured without all manner of flights of the fantastical -- be it architecture or the realms of the spiritual.
Knowing this, I, once again, wobbly as a a newborn, giddy as a schoolgirl with an age-old crush, take my seat in front of my personal dream spinner, hit my acceleration pedal and push off from the dingy curb.
When it comes to writing and to the sound of words, I am an addict and shall remain so to my last breath.