You know I can’t sleep, I can’t stop my brain

2.20.22

I’ve written in the past about problems I’ve had writing, whether because of writer’s block, or lack of time, or whatever. It’s something that every writer deals with, in some way and to some extent.

I’m experiencing it now, when I realized that it’s almost time to post my blog, and I’ve written nothing for this week’s entry. Not even an idea.

When I reconstituted my weekly blog a little over a year ago, I described how the responsibility of writing a blog post every week had, before, become somewhat burdensome. Since then, though, with our ongoing plans to move overseas, and my continuing attempts to gain fame and fortune from my books, there has usually been plenty to write about.

This week, though, I’m experiencing a bit of a block in, really, all areas of my writing. In my current novel, Gazing Into the Abyss, I have a pivotal scene coming up, and as I’ve written before about how it can be a chore for me to write scenes that involve heightened emotions, this one is a doozy. It requires one of the main characters to do something incredibly difficult, embarrassing, and emotionally traumatic.

Of course sitcoms and a lot of romcoms do that all the time. In fact, embarrassing misunderstandings are a staple that they rely heavily on. They also seldom seem realistic, like something that a normal person would ever do.

I want it to seem natural and real, not like I’m forcing it just because the story needs it to happen. So the formation of that scene is dragging out. (And it occupies my brain when I’m lying in bed not sleeping.)

Also, despite a couple of encouraging contacts in Upwork, I haven’t been getting the freelance writing jobs I need. And there’s the aforementioned issue of this week’s blog entry. (You may accuse me now of padding the blog post with this fluff, but this is about my process, so. . . .)

Some of the problem may be from not quite enough sleep, a common, ongoing issue with me. Even though I have quit the loathsome job, I still seldom sleep later than 3:00 a.m. I’ve been getting up so early for so long that my body is still accustomed to that schedule. That’s been serving me in my DoorDash endeavor, but it’s a habit that I would ultimately like to break.

Another issue that’s weighing on me (and Linda) is our upcoming reconnaissance trip to Portugal. First of all, there’s the stress surrounding it in relation to the latest mutation of the Omicron variant of COVID that is making its way around parts of Europe. So there’s always the chance that we may have to cancel our plans (again) and lose out on a fair amount of money. We choose the refundable option if one is available, and affordable, but some of these arrangements have already been changed, so this is it for them.

Besides possibly losing out on the money, there would also be the immense disappointment of having our hopes and dreams dashed yet again. We’ve already gone through that with Guanajuato, Mexico. We also originally had a trip to Portugal planned for last month, and had to postpone it due to an issue with Linda’s passport. But her passport is ready to go, now, so if we have to cancel again, the reason will likely be epidemiological.

Getting ready for that trip has been quite a chore, for Linda particularly. She’s generally more fastidious about where she lives. First of all, there is what she knows about herself, that she can’t do well emotionally where it is overcast and rains a lot. There’s also the intolerance for extreme heat and humidity, which I share.

Therefore, during the time that we were looking at cities and towns, I told her that if she liked a place, chances are I would like it, too. So she did most of the research on different areas in Portugal, and when she showed them to me and expressed her thoughts, I pretty much always agreed.

That’s not to say that I didn’t explore certain destinations myself and offer suggestions, but Linda did the bulk of it, and when it came to planning the trip, she continued doing the bulk of shopping for lodging.

So, last night when we were working on putting what she had accomplished so far into a spreadsheet, we were both getting frustrated. I was impatient and irritated because I don’t work with spreadsheets, so the whole thing was unfamiliar to me. Linda was frustrated, I think, because of my irritation, and my inexperience was making it take longer than I think it should have. (She was very nice about it, though.)

We’ll be gone for three weeks, and she has booked lodging for a little over half of it so far. So I offered to take over for the second half, to take some of that load off of her. (And maybe I won’t have to do any more work in the spreadsheet.)

Anyway, fatigue can be murder on creativity, so that’s where I am with my writing – this blog post notwithstanding.