I’ve lost my voice. Oh, I can still speak. That’s part of the problem. Writing unnecessary emails, blabbering away on Facebook and Twitter, engaging in pleasurable but unproductive busywork, and jabbering with family and friends has made my writing voice hoarse. Pure laziness has taken its toll, too. After a few months of succumbing to those distractions, the place in my brain where the writer lives started dosing off. The tyrant of purpose soon went to sleep, and quickly the writer part of my grey matter slipped into REM.
Not writing phase began with the ecstasy of having no assignments. I deserve some time off, don’t I? I’ve been working hard for a long time. A few days without writing will be good for me. Rest will restore me and make me a better writer. That’s not how it works. Once I stopped writing for a few months, it got easier to find more excuses and even easier to believe the reasons for delaying the process were legitimate. They aren’t.
When people ask me how the new book is coming, I find myself smiling wearily, mumbling, “Oh, you know how it is…little by little.” Actually, it’s little by nothing. The same dreary seven pages I wrote months ago in a fit of remorse and guilt are still sitting in a file called New Book. The Table of Contents tab below the Introduction tab, which houses those stale seven pages, mocks me every time I look at my desktop. It, too, has a few lackluster entries I’ve plunked in at odd moments when I needed to convince myself that I was going back to work.
I’m not entirely certain why today is the turning point, but the REM state has finally given way to a groggy restlessness, and it looks as if a fully awakened state is coming up fast. My solitary writer’s strike is over, so tomorrow morning, it’s back to work for me. First assignment: turn off the internet, mute the phone, and close the door. Second assignment: purge that New Book folder of its grubby contents. Third task: clear the throat and start the process. Shout after me, “You go, girl!” The voice is back.