Day 6 – Writer
I left the traditional workforce in 2001 or 2002, it is vague, to attempt writing fiction. Somehow along the way I ended up writing internet content. Funny how things work out. I still consider myself a writer, I am just not the kind of writer I expected myself to be.
I still have three unfinished novels sitting on my bookcase beside my desk that occasionally start whispering to one another about the dust and such. Next to them is a larger binder full of poetry, something else I have not worked on in some time. I am lucky if I write three poems a year now. In some ways the guilt of not touching them haunts me and at other times they are the furthest from my mind. When I consider working on them I suddenly feel like I do not have a creative word left in my body and end up having a cup of tea instead.
These days I find it so much easier to write non-fiction than fiction. My thinking mind realizes this is because my fiction muscle just needs some exercise but who has time for that? Am I right?
I think part of the problem stems from the neurological barricade I have created for myself. In 2004 I suffered two temporal lobe seizures (old school terminology would be grand mal). The temporal lobes store our memories and I did seem to lose a lot of them from around that time. Long term creative projects felt foreign no matter how many times I have read them. Even now if I pick up something written about that time and read it, even though it has my name on it, it feels like another person wrote it. The fiction writer part of me seems to have gone on an extended vacation.
Another issue that developed post seizures was missing words syndrome for lack of a better term. Most writers will get stumped along the way with finding the right word but I suffer from not finding the word. It is like the word is behind a screen but I cannot reach it to bring it out. Sometimes I can put a “?” and go back later and fill it in but it usually not the word I wanted, just a substitute. And other times it is just gone, never to be found. I think over time I have allowed this to become my barricade against finishing longer pieces of fiction. The wall is still pretty high.
Regardless, I am happy doing what I am doing and it manages to pay the odd bill or help offset the next item that needs to be replaced because of malfunction or destruction. But still, occasionally, I dream about the smell of my own bound work of fiction — you know, if I actually wrote it.