Zombie Rising

And we are not talking about those lovable Chocolate Zombies, either.

At least one of you has noticed the lack of posts of late; I am sorry to inform you that this is because I have become a zombie. However I am seeing the doctor shortly and I hope there is a cure.

Emdee by Schell

I had last week off the DDJ, and oh, the plans I had. Yes, I needed to reconstruct everything after the crisis, but it was going to be fun. I was going to have time. I could live like a writer, at least for a week! The bells pealed, the angels sang, and I wrote about a thousand words of notes on the reincarnation of my WIP.

Mass Emergencies Opening Reception - Saint Peter and His Choir of Angels with Andre Woodward's Work

And then…
You guessed it. I got sick. At the worst, I had a high fever and couldn’t even bear to read (i.e. was at death’s door, as precious little else will stop me reading).
Once all my leave was up I went back to the DDJ, thinking I was getting better. But after only a day and a half I had to go home sick again. The cough, the cold…

Cough and the Common Cold

On the plus side, this means I am not at the DDJ and can even squeeze in a little writing here and there.

On the downside, I now have less than three days of sick leave to last me til mid 2014. (Guess I’d better not get sick again. ) I also have the brain of a zombie – all greyish green gook and slow synapses.

On the plus side again, I also have a Hollow-Cheeked Writer’s Cough which is definitely giving me the appropriate garret look.

58/365 where does it hurt?

What I really need to do now (aside from see the doctor for a zombie-cure, obvs.) is start writing the new draft. Just a line. Because until that first line is down, there’s the spectre of Perfectionism hanging over me.
And that’s scarier than any zombie.

May: A Sense of Possibility

You cannot dream too big for God, I’ve recently been told.

The fifth chapter in The Artist’s Way is all about daring to dream. And I have most certainly been struggling with this.
There are lists to complete: what would I try if I weren’t too crazy? What would I love to do but aren’t allowed? I wish…

A Birthday Wish

Not surprisingly, the DDJ showed up on a lot of these lists – or rather, the absence of the DDJ, along with reading all day and eating hot Vogels toast with butter. Also a writing room in the shape of a teapot. (I may need to think this one through a little more.)

I had to list twenty wishes, and the further I got the deeper and less specific they became: to be close to God, to live meaningfully, to be loving, to be joyful, to live creatively.

I am happy to be here

And then I had to list five grievances with God. That felt against the grain, but as she says, God can take it. The DDJ cast a long shadow there, too.

Then there was a great deal of image-collecting – images of what I’d do if I were 20 and rich, 65 and rich, could live other lives. This was quite fun, as I’ve mentioned.

Library of knowledge

Julia Cameron asks some rather probing questions about self-sabotage. Too often God offers us something and we demur, thinking if it seems too good to be true, it is – or it’s a trap.

“The question is ‘Are you self-destructive?’ Not ‘Do you appear self-destructive?’ And most definitely not ‘Are you nice to other people?'” (p. 99).
This is an important distinction. Not that being a writer (or any other kind of person) is an excuse for being unkind to others, but that others are responsible for their own lives and you are responsible for yours.

Putting other people’s priorities ahead of your own may make you out a really nice person, but it also means that what is important in your own life is neglected.

Overgrown yard
There is no credit in mowing your neighbour’s lawn if your own is threatening to take over your house.

So, taking responsibility for my own life, I had to list my favourite creative block, my payoff for staying blocked, and the person I blame for being blocked. (Uncomfortable self-scrutinisation, anyone?)

I soon decided my favourite block was tiredness. Then I had to draw a cartoon of myself “indulging in it”. Not being over-endowed with artistic ability, my cartoon was somewhat less elaborate than this:

The payoff was harder to figure out. The payoff for the DDJ is obvious – pay, leading to a roof over my head and food on the table. But what’s the payoff for being tired? Or rather, what’s the payoff for letting tiredness stop me writing?

It isn’t rest, because I find it very hard to rest when I know I should be doing something else. It might be the knowledge that I didn’t fail (because I didn’t try) but it feels like failure anyway.
Perhaps it’s avoiding poor-quality work. Or avoiding that feeling of facing the page and knowing I have nothing to give it. Perhaps it’s just the path of least resistance, inviting pity, framing myself as the victim. (Poor thing. She’s so tired.)

eh. (365.335)

I wasn’t sure who I blamed – could be anyone from me to Capitalism. I don’t know that having someone to blame helps. Well, it might make you feel better (though I doubt it) but it doesn’t help you get out. And out is exactly what I want to get.

I still don’t know what lies before me. Rationally speaking, there is no more cause for hope than there was a month ago, or a month before that. And yet, the flame of hope is kindled in me again. A tiny little wavering blob on the wick of my soul, but there it is.

286/365 - One FlameDon’t nobody breathe.