Heavy hands, sluggish thoughts

I just wrote a new short story. It’s not terribly good yet—it’s just a draft—and it took far longer to write than I felt it should have, but I did it.

There’re a few reasons I wrote this story. This short story that is. First, I recently read a book about space (Mary Roach’s Packing for Mars, which I picked up years ago as an advance reading copy at Book Expo America) and wanted to put down my own take about the utter blackness out there. The emptiness.

But, more importantly, I’ve been really struggling to write of late.

If you follow my video series, Drunk on Writing, you may not expect this given many of the videos are—at least in part—scripted, but it’s true. I look at the page and, while I feel motivated to write, while I want to write, I just can’t. My mind doesn’t want to cooperate, my hands feel heavy, and my thoughts become sluggish. They lack the punch I expect.

I think a lot of it can be explained with the following cartoon by Sarah Andersen:

While I'm not sad per say, I’ve been walking around with this half-ton stress knot in my stomach for what feels a long while now. I can feel it whenever my thoughts turn even remotely anxious, and while I can continue with the core of my duties, I’m entirely incapable of fulfilling others. It’s all a struggle. It’s far different than any sense of depression, thankfully, though that has similar results. This is more of a… well… a panic I suppose. Perhaps it’s anxiety. I think it’s simply stress.

And I can’t get rid of it.

Interestingly, this only seems to apply to this one aspect of my creative energies. As I mentioned, I can still easily ready for Drunk on Writing and can still tackle a writing prompt or request with the utmost vigor. Perhaps it's a psychological thing, a defensive thing. Perhaps it stems from the same part of me that eagerly awaits a reply to my message, that worries when my words aren't heard or seemingly aren't read—that part of me that wonders if I'm truly here at all, if what I have to say, what I choose to say even matters.

That said, for the time being—at least until this version of writer’s block abates—I’m going to focus on all of those other things, those things I can still tackle. That includes Drunk on Writing, Book Four, some illustrations, my general career, going into politics, and freelance editing gigs. But I’m going to keep returning to writing—as often as I can, and as long as I can. And maybe, just maybe, I’ll get this short story out this year and Trezka out soon after.

But I honestly just don’t know.