Writer’s block

I’m sorry. I’m sorry I have not been writing regularly. And I say that more to myself than to anyone else. I would think that, after having been doing this for a little bit more than a decade now, I would be beyond any reason, excuse, or situation to not be able to churn out from whatever part of my brain, my gut, my heart, that should always have a myriad of thoughts or memories, or both, something, anything, when I want to and much more when I need to. That it would be a mumble-jumble of words whose significance is of interest to me only and a few handful, perhaps, is beside the point. Of late, the fact is I just have not been able to.

That is never more apparent than today, in this very cold room I’m at, with neither a book or food on my desk to inspire and entertain me, and tide me over until I get home. I have a looming deadline in a few hours, it is this very same situation that has stared me in the face at this very same day of the week for over four weeks now, and where before that truth alone was enough to propel me to come up with something, now, this very minute, I am (again) just empty. Blank. Stuck. I do not know where and what to start.

I am filled with thoughts, my life is brimming with many little stories I wish to share with all of you but that said there seems to be… nothing, really. Nothing concrete, no single train of thought, nothing that comes together cohesively. I attempt to start on something and I find my penmanship as confused as I am. Each paragraph jumps from one thought to its exact opposite, flitting between memories at least seven years apart. I open a new Word document in my computer and am deliciously tempted to enter the wonderful world that is chuvaness or beachvintage or absolutelybeautifulthings and pep. Of course I know that if I indulge and go that direction I will be so amused and absorbed I will not get anything done.

I have read about the lives of some of my favorite writers. I have asked those I have been lucky to actually meet, and they all have the same thing to say regarding dry spells. No matter the content of the day, just write. Get it down on paper. Even and especially when you don’t want to. More so when you want to but just can’t. You just do it. You face the seeming emptiness and trust that that faithfulness will be rewarded somehow.

But can I say that I’ve just really been so exhausted the past few months? Not that I’m complaining. I have never worked so hard in my life, and I do not say that lightly. As such, I’ve missed four consecutive deadlines to date, my worst in the history of my writing for this Sunday column. I feel rusty. I feel guilty for allowing myself to slack off this long. I don’t want to get used to it because I just might and writing has been a source of personal fulfillment for me. Why let go of this joy? I need to find my voice again, I know it is just hiding under all the weariness. Maybe when I am able to catch up on my sleep and sort through the pile of paperwork and mail growing by the day on my desk it will all flow back into me. I get agitated when my working space is messy. I like order as much as I do pretty things. They feed me in wonderful ways.

I know I must recharge. I am taking full advantage of the break. So I sleep as much as I can and listen extensively to the funny thoughts that can only come out of a 10-year-old little girl’s mind. I give in to my craving for steak and fat oysters spiked with nothing more than lemon and salt. The former is probably my body’s way of telling me I need the hunk and chunk it can easily provide. This week alone I’ve had that combination for dinner three times already. I’m eating a lot of frozen yoghurt topped with almonds. I’m dancing again.

I remember how I spent my first real free day in a long time. I stayed up late, working with my hands. Strangely, I did not feel tired and I woke up raring to pick up where I left off. An aunt of mine gave me aspasalubong a few years back: fine lace she had bought during one of her travels. It is hand-made, and in the shape of a mother lovingly holding her child. I’ve been looking for a nice oval-shaped frame for it, white and carved with nice details preferably, but there was none to be found. I finally resorted to using a very pretty rectangular one I’ve had for some time now. I scavenged for pretty paper from Juliana’s stash of scrapbooking materials and found a powder blue linen number that was thick and special. That became my backdrop for the delicate lace artwork. For the border I simulated the look and feel of lace using one of Martha Stewart’s fancy punchers. My daughter was looking over my shoulder while I was doing that and she remarked “Mom, considering Martha Stewart has an old brain she really comes up with cool stuff.” Imagine that. I’ve loved Martha Stewart for years now and never once thought her brain was old just because she was older. But I know where she is coming from. When I was her age I thought 30 was old and 40 ancient. I am in my mid 30’s now. I don’t feel ancient, except when I function on consecutive sleep-deprived days. Age really is just a number; that is something Martha Stewart and I know that my daughter and most everyone her age don’t yet. She will find that out for herself in due time.

Here I go again. Don’t say I did not warn you about being neither here nor there. I’m doing the written version of babbling so I will just stop while I am ahead.

Again, I’m sorry. I’m sorry I have not been writing regularly. I promise myself I will be better, and that I will try even harder, from this point onwards.

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