TRUE Writer’s Block: What to Do Now, After Your Muse Has Really Left (Six Months and Counting)

Folded Dreams, a follow-up novel to my venture into the world of self-publishing, managed to get to about 45% edit-worthy completion. I wasn’t completely satisfied with my work at that point, but I was proud to have at least made it that far! And then, as often happens of course, I hit an annoying bout of writer’s block – so I pouted for a few days, then decided I’d really show my Muse how childish an old fossil can get, and “cut off my nose just to spite my own face”…

Thanks to someecards.com!

Translation:  I  did what I believe a serious writer should never do for more than a few days at a time – I took a stupid vacation from writing. A couple of weeks should do it, I thought to myself. Just two weeks.

That was about the end of November or first of December, 2016.

As fate would have it (or “Never Disrespect Your Muse”), on the 8th of December I had a pretty serious stroke. Not a “major stroke”, mind (the kind that leaves one totally blind and unable to control one’s bodily functions), but bad enough to have to start from scratch to re-develop the ability to walk and use the muscles on the whole right side of my body to cough and spit toothpaste into a sink, and the dexterity I needed to dress and to even simply keyboard.

Writer’s block just became very real and much more complicated than ever, indeed.

It was necessary for me to leave my home and move in with one of my children; but I was determined to be ready when my muse again visited me, so I had my computer and flash drive book files brought over here to my son’s house.

A couple of weeks ago, I woke up with the urge to write. I thought about perhaps starting that book on stroke recovery which my therapists at Brooks Hospital had suggested. But, no – I wanted to get crackin’ on my novel again. After all, it’s nearly a year over-due for publish.

I plugged my flash drive into my lap top and began reading the existing chapters to the novel, “Folded Dreams”, you know, to refresh my memory as to where I was heading with the story. I really enjoyed re-reading what I’d written so far, mostly because I didn’t “recognize” it…

In fact, I had forgotten nearly the entire thing. Gone. Just. Like. That.

Pfffft.

Since that day, I’ve pondered the story, pounded my brain and perused all of my files on story-line notes and research to find anything I recognize. Nothing. Zip. Zilch. the only ‘discovery’ I’ve made is the continued enjoyment of reading a story which, each time I open it, seems like the first time reading someone else’s work. You see, I only vaguely remember having read it at all, no matter how many times I may have done so…that’s how Swiss-cheesey my brain is.

I don’t know how long this phase of recovery will last. I would like to believe it is only temporary, even if ‘temporary’ lasts for a long time yet. All I know is that THIS is true writer’s block, the likes of which can discourage me to the point of throwing in the towel…for good and ever.

But I won’t, even if I have to change the plot to include the protagonist having a stroke and losing herself completely.

Take THAT, Writer’s Block!!

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