Writers' block is not the only thing that can stop you writing. Sometimes life gets in the way. A sick kid, a burst pipe, a software update gone wrong. A promised speech at tomorrow’s wedding that you’d forgotten about. A chance to get vaccinated.
None of those things happened to me.
Melanie did a credible impression of Usain Bolt and rewrote her half of Belongingness in a few days. I’ve been working on my half for the last couple of weeks. I was close to finishing over the weekend. Then, on Monday, I woke up dizzy.
And the dizziness would not go away.
I’ve gone to bed dizzy before. Not a million times, but more than once. After a few too many drinks, I have lain back and seen the ceiling make like a kaleidoscope. But I’ve never before had that experience while sober.
Time passed. The dizziness stayed with me. I was comfy lying down. I could even read. But whenever I got up, I had to hang onto something to stay vertical.
What was it? Vertigo, inner ear thing, cranial malfunction? The persistence of the symptom, and the fact that I’d never experienced it before, dismayed me. I would have called my doctor, but I don’t have one. I would have talked to my friends and family, and been comforted by them, but I am not that kind of patient.
For two days I barely ate, drank only water, and did no work. My headache was not the splitting brain-tumour kind – it was the lack-of-coffee kind. Occasional moments of chill and fever gave me confidence. “Ahhh,” I thought. “It’s a flu. I’ve had flu before. It’ll pass.”
Life got in the way of writing.
Now the dizziness is gone. I woke up yesterday and felt nearly normal. I drank a pot of coffee. I went for a walk. And sat down at the computer.
Somehow - some odd how - my body has dealt with the flu, or bout of vertigo, or cranial malfunction, or whatever it was. I’m back.
The book will be on its way to the editor soon.