I’ve found the biggest challenge to getting any writing done since my last post has been a mental one. I’m doing all the right things: devoting a period of time each evening to write (excluding weekends at the moment), getting my daily word count done by hook or by crook, and being as intuitive as I can by writing in my notebook when a plot point sorts itself out or a character description becomes apparent. So in terms of a narrative, it’s coming along, inching towards 20,000 words. Still a long way to go though, so if completed it will definitely be of novel length.
But the mental task of getting through the words is harder than it’s ever been. I’m struggling to get into that headspace where the words flow from nowhere. I think there are a number of reasons for this. First, I have a lot more in my life to think about. Being in a relationship is great, but it comes with extra emotional heft, as I’m not able to be selfish anymore. Don’t get me wrong, things are going well, but without getting too corny, we’re a team now, so her worries and issues are mine too. I feel like my mind is flitting all over the place thinking of various things, and it won’t settle down when it comes to writing time.
The same could be said of family of course, and there are a couple of health-related issues there which have been playing on my mind a bit. And to top it off, I have distinctly noticed my own mental health has taken a bit of a hit recently. It’s the general stress of everyday life really, work is a huge cause of stress for me and it isn’t improving on that front. I’m not sleeping too well, and am plagued with surreal dreams or nightmares practically every night. And the days when I slept in until my alarm went off appear to be over. I’m awake most days before 7am, no matter what time I go to bed. Most irrational of all is that I’m starting to get lost in fears about my own mortality again. This happens on an occasional basis. I get into a sort of malaise about being halfway through my life and not having much to show for it, and that simple conviction can keep me down for weeks. It passes eventually, with no rhyme or reason, but I know it will come back soon enough. It’s actually quite debilitating.
So it’s a bit of a tough slog at the moment, but I’m surviving, and the words are still coming out, however painfully. I can’t ask for any more than that.