So this little blog post is my attempt to kick off those cobwebs and start getting back into the writing groove.
It has truly been a moment since I’ve written in my memoir… and now I’m going to take a moment to talk about how I am moving forward with my memoir despite memory hiccups, blank brains (a symptom I was recently experiencing that I blogged about previously) and overall lack of motivation.
Recently I was attending a baseball tournament (my nephew’s) on a hot day and a little annoying gnat flew right INTO my ear!! Ahhhh! Yuck!!!! (I think because I can’t hear them well or at all bugs can fly into my ears without me swatting them away!) Ew! After some uncomfortable moments when the gnat was moving around INSIDE my ear, he finally stopped moving (hopefully died… most likely boiled to death because I was HOT). In the moment I was grossed out, horrified and just too hot to really care beyond making sarcastic comments (it was 95 degrees and we were watching two games in a row and that was going to be followed by a half-hour drive home in an un-air-conditioned car… that’s a long story unto itself). However, yesterday when I was thinking about it I thought of something funny. I should have told that little gnat in my ear to travel to my brain and turn on the switch that has been turned off since my Traumatic Brain Injury. Because in my imagination there is a switch in my brain that had been tripped in the car accident that has caused my brain to malfunction and not be able to process sound normally! Suddenly I imagined a whole story of this little bug with a purpose buzzing around my ears and making its way to my brain (trust me… this is cute and not creepy). The conjuring of this silly bug in the ear story told me that maybe that little bug DID have a purpose… he may not have switched on the “normal hearing” switch (like I had hoped) but I think he did switch on my creativity and therefore helped me kick those pesky cobwebs off my writing brain.
Honestly as someone who has identified as a writer and a creative person for around 30 years (don’t do the math… oh, who cares, I’m going to be 43 on Monday and I found out I could write and create stories when I was a teenager) I have had A LOT of moments when I have needed to kick the cobwebs off my writer brain. I thought I would list some of the moments I can think of in order to put into perspective for myself the ebbs and flows that are only natural in a creative life.
Moments I have “kicked off the creativity cobwebs” before
- Circa 2002/2003: Writing creatively again after college. Writing for me. Not for a class, not for a deadline, just tinkering with words again. I was working professionally as a proofreader so it took me some time to naturally be creative again since my job felt the very opposite of creative writing. I didn’t have anything published during this time because I was still finding my voice and slowly losing drive (working a non-creative job can do that to you).
- Circa 2007: I completed a Master’s in English while working full time. After completing it I started to putter with writing again. Nothing published. Still pretty aimless.
- Circa 2012: I completed a Master’s in Library and Information Science and yet I was still feeling aimless. I had started project managing a few years prior and while still not creative it is a more draining job. At this point I participate in my first NaNoWriMo (writing 50,000 words of a novel in one month). I don’t complete it but I still have dreams of going back to that novel and finishing it.
- Circa 2018: I start this blog a year and a half after the near fatal car accident that gave me a TBI and put me in a coma. I start it by writing one short story a month (It was called 12 Months of Stories) and then once the year is over I decide I like this blogging thing and plan to continue… and do!
- Circa 2019: I have come to the conclusion that in order to eventually be FREE to write other creative stories that I must first write MY story, my brain injury story (my memoir) I then participate in Camp NaNoWriMo that summer and attempt to write a large chunk (or all) of my memoir. I don’t succeed within the Camp NaNoWriMo timeframe but I eventually hit 60,000 words.
- Circa 2022: I start the year with renewed dedication to completing my memoir. I eventually decide to set aside the existing 60,000 and come at it from a different angle. This is where I stand with my memoir. I have a really good outline and plan that has taken me a long time to develop and now I just need to write!
So… as you see… I have been down this cobweb-lined road before… and I will probably continue to go down it occasionally if I continue to be a creative writer throughout my life (as I plan to be). The trick is to not freak out when that happens and instead kick off the cobwebs (and maybe give that little gnat in my ear a true purpose and give him a typewriter)!