I've been laid up in bed for most of a month, sick in a way that sidelined everything but what had to be done - ordering groceries, hugging the kids, checking Facebook and watching hulu. And fretting, in between naps, about writing my book.
The book, as you may remember, is due Oct 1. I have made tremendous progress in researching it - who knew there were so many incredible people facing their fears so quietly - people brave enough to want to share their stories with me? So the desktop file holder I bought at the start of the project, which six months ago held nothing but chapter titles on empty folders, is now full of notes, photos, pictures, opening scenes and story lines in progress. But no chapters.
Then, all my energy fell out from under me. I couldn't focus long enough to read the books I need to read, to chase the stories in the field the way I had throughout the fall and winter. I stopped journaling, I was too tired. "This thing isn't going to write itself!" I scolded myself, as my eyes closed, again and again. It appeared I wasn't writing the thing, either.
But something happened in the time I spent half-asleep. I dreamed. Mist rolled in, mist rolled out. I was back, facing my fear of the water, the cold, of failure, of the unknown. I could feel it, in my skin, in my bones. I could see myself, ridiculous and heroic, by turns. By myself, in my bed, I laughed out loud at my memories. I woke up one day and wrote 10,000 words. A chapter, born whole.
I just need to be the Octo-mom now, and give birth to 8 more live babies in the next six months. It can be done, I am sure of it. All I need is a combination of drive, focus, and lying in the mist.
The doctor says I'll be back to myself in the next week or two. But I may just stay in bed.
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