Days like this one are the hardest when it comes to keeping my vows. I promised myself I’d write every day, because that is one of the few pieces of common advice I come across when sifting through authors’ tips on writing. I’m not about to only write in longhand or only write on a computer disconnected from the internet. I’m not going to write while drunk or hungry and I’m certainly not going to buy a lake cottage or mountain cabin to serve as my scrivener’s retreat. The least I can do is take myself down to my desk once a day and pound something out. Some days it’s 500 words for the blog and then 1000 for the book. On occasion I’ll set aside one or the other, doing only blog work or book work.
But for a week and a half I’ve been passing multiple kidney stones; for five of those days I was the only one at home and also had the sole responsibility for two dogs. That doesn’t sound like much until you realise that one of those fellows is coming up on 12, is as arthritic as I am and is incontinent to boot. Forgive me for not being one of those people who wants to use an indoor peepad. There are just some things I can’t abide…giving animals permission to go in the house is one of them. So that means a lot of trips outside.
Some writer–I honestly can’t remember which one, only that she was a woman–was a harridan in her “10 tips on writing” when she talked about writing every day. She kept going on and on about how it didn’t matter if you were sick or dying. You had to write every day. Oh yeah. I remember one other thing about her. I know she’s someone whose books I don’t care for that much. Maybe because she writes them even when she feels like garbage.
And here’s where we get to the nitty-gritty of my problem. I am sick so much that if I don’t write when I’m sick I’d never get anything done. Still and all, even in my world there’s sick and there’s SICK. Sniffles, minor headaches and the aches and pains that come with my six-pack of autoimmune diseases are all something I can work around to a degree. I have enough hours in a day to allow me to pound out a few words and work on my family history side project.
But this? This feeling that mothers say is worse than labour, that soldiers say is worse than being shot…I confess that I have a very difficult time writing when the little pebbles of bone dust make their way through my innards. I have a difficult time doing much of anything, to be honest. So writing on days like this is when I pit my will against the dark. Nothing much comes of it other than the certainty that I’m a tough-minded broad.