Tag Archives: disease

Writer losing her mojo

We all have heard the saying that “writers write as simple as that” and it is really is as simple as that, but most don’t actually do it as regularly as they should or at least believe they should.  For me, I do not write as much as I believe I should because in the last few years I have lost my mojo, I forgot what it meant for me to write and I have done a lot of soul searching in the past year to find out where the passion has gone.

I did something rare for me – I re-read a book, usually I don’t re-read books unless I put them into a reference category but this particular book I re-read and saw it with fresh eyes and read things I didn’t remember were in the book in the first place.  The name of the book was “Big Magic” written by Elizabeth Gilbert.  When I read this book I asked myself a question; “Why do I think I have lost my love for writing”?  It was a simple answer really upon reflection and I would never have gotten this answer if it wasn’t for this book.  My writing became too focused on financial panic, the urge to write as much as I can so I can earn a living because I needed to break out of debts, but instead, this kind of pressure halted everything about my creative mind and I found I couldn’t do anything other than dramatic self-pitying poetry on mass, the stories and the playtime died, literally.

For the word, nothing has been published except for the things that are published on this blog simply because I didn’t want to approach a publisher with such depressing poetical themes, because I still hold to the idea that I am primarily a fantasy and horror story writer, not a poet!  I am also an essayist I suppose, because I like writing and hoarding information I have learned about my favourite subjects, but I am not sure how to become a paid essay writer and I am not really going to approach that as a career until I learn more about it. 

Anyway – getting back to the main subject of this post.  I forgot how to play – yes, even in real life, I have forgotten how to play and to laugh because of my severe depression, breakdown and financial worries.  I became so down in the dumps about my life that I had two years of being carefully guarded by Paul my fiancé because I couldn’t be left alone for fear I’d commit suicide, seriously.  One point it got so bad, Paul had to go out somewhere without me and he needed to ask a neighbour to sit in with me.  To say I am over that now, would be wrong, the slightest thing brings it back, but I am not as bad as I used to be, the self-harming has stopped a little bit and I am more predictable these days; but ultimately, the depression is still there and I am trying hard to find out how to play again, how to feel happy again and how to enjoy life.  I don’t enjoy anything anymore and it is getting increasingly difficult since the doctor is now looking into what they believe to be a very serious neurological problem, either MS or motor neurone disease, but like always there is a long waiting list here in the UK and I won’t really know what’s going on with me for several months apparently.

So, how does one go about trying to find out how to be happy again and learn to play again?  It turns out according to the book “Big Magic” and a couple of other books I have read recently that it is something most adults get out of practise of, that once you start trying to become playful and do things which are generally playful (even if you don’t feel happy doing it or feel that it is playful) you will eventually trick your mind to becoming playful and you will build up a type of momentum.  Once the momentum is built up, you will start to feel a change – well I hope so.

I thought hard about how I write stories now in comparison to how I wrote them ten years ago, was there any notable differences in how I produced work back then than now?

Yes there was a huge fundamental difference in fact. 

A decade ago I wasn’t afraid to be thought of as eccentric or insane, I would play with my imagination and I would share my thoughts and ideas no matter how obscure and strange they were with people around me and then I would write about those ideas.  I used to have a lot more creative friends too, but many of them have creative careers which have made them too busy to socialise even online, some have died, some have decided that they too have lost their playful side and have become super conservative people.

I have also found that my social circle is smaller these days which is amazing because I used to think my social circle couldn’t get any smaller ten years ago, the people who I do talk to these days are very serious people who have a worried look on their faces whenever anybody talks about anything out of the ordinary, even if you were to explain that you are an artist and a writer so it’s not a mental health problem, it’s just my mind playing with ideas and therefore there is a story in this.  You’d be surprise how people like that can dry up your will to be imaginative or to share your ideas.

Some people who have very little imagination tell me that they wished they had more of an imagination and they start to tinker with my story ideas themselves (which I don’t mind) but then they start demanding that they must change my concept on my fantasy worlds because things are just not plausible and that readers are real people who live in the real world and they want something believable, so they start pulling at the threads of my fantasy infrastructure and start literally pulling my fantasy communities apart by the seams.  It turns out that even my perfect all powerful fantasy God is not infallible, that he has other beings that will cause problems he can’t deal with and that even this God ponders who created him and so forth.  I told the person, you are going too deep here buddy, I don’t want to go that way in my story, but they insist that I must.

I became a fantasy writer because I find the real world too boring and predictable for me to want to think about and write, the idea of making a fantasy based novel plausible, to me, is laughable, because fantasy is supposed to be anything BUT normal. 

To cut myself off from such people will almost completely isolate me again, which I don’t want.  But can I really sit through another conversation where my worlds are being shattered write before my eyes?  I often feel like screaming at the top of my voice “Of course this fantasy God has a creator you dumbass, it is me, I am their goddess, I made them, but I am not egotistical enough to put myself in the book as the all-power”, does any other writer go through this?  Or is this situation totally unique to me?

So I am currently on a journey to find “My tribe” as Elizabeth Gilbert puts it and to find my playful imaginative self again and to have the confidence and focus of not listening to those who are dismantling my worlds and to continue with what I had always planned instead.  Which is a shame because these people used to feed me ideas, used to support me, but these days it is just soul destroying.  I have to ignore the world destroyers.

I wanted to join a writers group, but not sure what is involved with those and I am scared to find more people who are like that, once they’ve heard my stories.  I am trying to forget the people who are making me focus on writing purely for financial reasons and try to focus once again on writing for me, for fun, for release and for pleasure; the way it should be for all writers.

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Update 13th January 2018

Hardly any writing done for anything has been done this week due to the fact that I’ve had a very painful and persistent ear infection again and a slight cold.  I found out in more depths what is wrong with me, what is wrong with my immune system though I am still being investigated for suspected two or three other things that are more severe, I won’t know the outcome of these tests for another three months at least.  But part of the parcel of why my immune system is weak is because of the pernicious anaemia I’ve had since I was a young teenager (nobody really bothered to explain to me what that is, I presumed (like my mother) that is was just chronic anaemia, but it is more than that).  Pernicious anaemia can cause deficiencies in the body and can affect the lining of the stomach and the whole digestive system if left untreated, triggering irritable bowel syndrome eventually.

Because my mother never really bothered to pay attention to doctors or ask them questions we just made our presumptions and this has developed into reflux and irritable bowel syndrome causing me to have intolerances these days that are so severe I have to completely avoid lactose and egg, though I can nibble a little at gluten without too much problems now I have solicited a fodmap diet to eliminate IBS triggers and I am getting a little bit better for it.  I can eat a small amount of gluten twice a week, but I do try and stay away from it as much as possible so not to trigger a bigger reaction like I used to have.  The other suspicions are still suspicions regarding the spleen, chrohns disease and inflammatory bowel disease which is entirely different to IBS.  Fodmap diet means I have to eliminate foods that I think would not be harmful to IBS; I have found it astounding the types of food to avoid because it triggers a response in the digestive system to play up.  Foods such as apples all high fructose foods and cruciferous vegetables, which is a shame as red apples and broccoli form part of my staple.

On a positive note I have heard rumors from a lot of people that if I have a very tightly regimented fodmap diet high in blueberries and soya and probiotics then I could effectively cure my IBS within a few months.

My husband is very supportive about this new diet change and has even adopted a household approach to eating healthier and lowering everybody’s risk of developing a digestive disorder, though he hasn’t cut out lactose and gluten for him and Henry as they don’t need to.  We are now eating more fish, chicken and rice than we used to and we ate more of that than an average British family before this anyway!  Our diet now resembles more Mediterranean meets the Caribbean, which makes me happier anyway, never did have the British palate.

Now instead of potatoes with bland steamed vegetables and sausages, we now only have that rarely say once every couple of months and now our more usual diet is rice mixed with tomatoes, sweetcorn, peas and basil with salmon and a small Greek salad (no cheese or olives due to triggers).  Our idea of a Greek salad is rocket, spinach, red onion, sweetcorn, red peppers, and cucumbers, tomatoes, on average with the occasional chopped avocado or beetroot (but that is a sparse addition).  Our usual puddings after dinner is now coconut & raspberry jam gluten free cake with custard or skip it until an hour later where we have popcorn or honey nuts.

Our most British dinner is the chicken Sunday roast with gluten free alternatives for Yorkshire puddings, stuffing and gravy.

Our most likely weekend breakfast is kippers with tomatoes and gluten free bread, weekday breakfast porridge alternating with fruits on it, cinnamon or various flavours of jam.

Usual snacks need to be amended because I go for nuts and salt and vinegar crisps, which vinegar is a trigger, but it is hard to find gluten free and lactose free snacks that are off the fodmap.  So I tend to go hungry a lot of the time these days, particularly as I never feel hungry at breakfast or lunch so often skip those dinners and I don’t have a large one at the end of the day anymore because I simply can’t eat big anymore, my stomach just can’t cope with anything bigger than a large jacket potato with tuna in regards to meal size.

I am losing a lot of weight since going on the FodMap diet; I have lost almost a stone in weight in 10 days and I don’t recommend how you can do it, because for a lot of the time I am starving hungry, but have no room in the stomach for anything else it is strange.

So that’s an update on little ol me.

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Droid Pox

In a previous post last year, I mentioned that I play scrabble to rev up my brain for writing each day and also to assist me in writers block; some games take on a life of their own and bring about themes or stories unwittingly.
This happened to me again on my last game.

The theme seemed to be robots, technology and disease; it gave me a wonderful idea for a story that I don’t think I can pull off because it’s too technical and I am not a very technologically minded person.

The words played were “Droid”, “Pox”, “Robot”, “Death”, “Fail” and the idea these words gave me were…

A futuristic tale based on robotic advancements that are so great, robots take on a life of their own and a new computer virus is designed by outcast Eco-warrior type people who live rurally around the cities, specifically designed to kill off the new robotic race; quite similar to the idea behind the cyber-men in doctor who; this made me think of a droid pox that affects metals, electric and robots irreparably as it sort of corrodes the metal, this will also affect the infrastructure of the world – basically things that aren’t robot specific.

Obviously such a thing will cause a collapse of buildings, bridges, transportation, trade, importation, and society, as humans will have to start relying on their own manual labor as they did centuries before the collapse and they can’t cope – some can’t cope emotionally because some of the droids affected were disabled relatives that were given lifesaving or life enhancing robotic organs and limbs etc.

I really have no idea how to pull this off as I am not scientific or technologically minded at all and I really want to write this, but I think this will be an abandoned idea.

Shame really.

I am willing to discuss this with people who are science/technology savvy on this subject and perhaps we can work together on this story?

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recent issues

Having second thoughts about taking up NaNoWriMo, I struggle with 250 words a day these days, let alone trying to squeeze in 50,000 in a month – reason?  Migraines, frequent for months now, also I’ve been told that I am showing mild signs of pneumonia which is a worry.  I’ve been ill for weeks now and I am getting progressively worse, been practically bed-bound though for two days, thankfully I have a new laptop so I can do things when I can semi-think.

My main concern is I am unsure how the job center will react to the fact I haven’t gone to the voluntary placement interview yet, particularly as it was supposed to be for the next day and they saw me happy and healthy, but I woke up really bad and it’s not left me for almost 3 weeks now.  I am worried; I wanted to do the voluntary work too as it focuses on a charity I never heard of before but on a subject close to my heart (mental illness and mental learning difficulties and brain injuries) – hope this won’t turn against me?

I am so used to London benefit offices that I worry about every visit.  Unfortunately my husband is unemployed since the National Wildlife Trust could no longer afford him and made him redundant, this is unfortunate because I’ve always had health problems which have made problems with me keeping a job down (auto-immune problems, operations, and rheumatoid arthritis, vertigo and anemia problems as well as panic attacks), needless to say as soon as he became unemployed we had no choice but to go on benefits and they wouldn’t allow him to go on it and support the family I have to go for the interviews too.  Unfortunately even voluntary placements get funny if you have too much time off (even if you’re known to be sick), so I don’t have much of a life as far as social commitments go.

On the positive note my husband is doing home-based voluntary work for seismologists, if at the end of a 9 month period they feel he knows what he is doing he could get employed by them – hopefully the job center will be considerate about this, meanwhile he is trying hard to find work in other places but being aged 57 he is struggling to find anyone who’ll take him seriously, despite his educational and employment history being, Naval engineer, art tutor, customer services, photographer, and having an ecological degree with engineering.

I think my health problems are one of the main contributors to why I am afraid of being published, I cannot commit to anything because of it and really will publishers sympathize with a sick/disabled writer, even if they seem extremely good at what they’re doing?  I doubt it, but I hope I am proven wrong in time.

 

 

 

 

 

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Dramatic life

drama

You have dramatized your life so much that you are trapped within its tragedy

You cannot see clearly what you’ve done your life is seen as a rhapsody

I feel for you and your miserable life

I see every day you struggling against strife

But no, you say it’s not how it goes and I’m wrong, so wrong

But I see your life is a different song

One of pain, one of sorrow, one of violence will you live tomorrow?

Suicide and adultery, sex and drugs and treachery

This soap of yours I cannot live let me free from your movie script

Your life is a mess when it’s at its very best so please

Release me from your disease

 

 

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