Wednesday, 28 January 2009

Has The Muse Vanished?

When I first started writing this blog I was writing at the rate of more than one post a day. I never seemed to have any difficulty finding something to write about, and the words seemed to flow from my fingers without any real effort. Over the last couple of months the post rate has fallen, albeit not much below a rate of one post a day, but it is a reduction nonetheless.

Sometimes I really feel the need to write something, but I have no idea what to write about. Am I suffering some sort of writer's block?

I really hope that this is a temporary phase for writing this blog has been one of the best things that has happened to me for quite a few years. I get a great sense of achievement when I write a really good piece of prose, and while I really write for myself, I also enjoy it enormously when one of my posts strikes a chord with other bloggers and they take the time to write a comment to say how they have enjoyed what I have written or how it has reinforced something that they thought.

At the moment I am not sure where I stand with this particular depressive phase. I know that I am past the worst of it, that occurred a couple of weeks ago and resulted in a trip to my GP, but while I started to feel better mentally as the symptoms from the various infections that I managed to pick up seemed to disappear, suddenly I am feeling worse again, and the effects are quite physical.

I've had a few bad nights for sleep, so last night took some of the medication that I have for occasional use when this gets too bad. It took a while for me to get to sleep, but I managed it eventually and slept pretty well through the night. Unfortunately, I have also slept most of the day too. I did manage to have something to eat in one of my wakeful periods, but that was some considerable time ago, and though I know that I ought to have another meal, I can't be bothered to prepare anything. On top of all this I have a feeling of light-headedness which is most peculiar. And I'm not sure what is causing it.

This is a somewhat disjointed post, and is probably so because of the way that I am feeling. I may not be on top form, but I can recognize coincidences when they occur. I am lucky enough to be able to touch-type, having taken RSA exams in typing, shorthand and various other secretarial-type qualifications when I was at school, although I have never worked in such a job apart from a temporary job for six weeks when I was waiting to join the RAF. I can no longer remember any of the shorthand except "Dear Sir, Thank you for your letter dated" but I worked with computers both while I was in the RAF and afterwards, so the typing skills were pretty well honed over the years. However, I still prefer to draft my essays, and even some of my more insightful posts by hand and then transfer them to the computer later.

Now you may wonder where this is all leading; this is where the coincidences come in. There and Back (who has stopped blogging for a while, but with whom I correspond on a daily basis) and Loopy Kate (in a post today) also write things longhand and then have to type them up, and I have suggested the same thing to both of them: voice-recognition software. So why am I suggesting voice-recognition software to others, yet although I have it myself, do I so often forget to use it and end up hitting the keys literally rather than just figuratively?

I guess that it is just one of life's little mysteries!


Anonymous said...

My handwriting has really gone down hill since the computer came to my home. I hate my handwriting and I keep saying I will do more writing to get it back upto looking good but I never do!

I hope you are feeling a little better soon!

cb said...

I, like you, attended a touch-typing course straight out of school. So many people scoffed but honestly, I have to say it was probably one of the best things I did. It has definitely paid off over the last few years enormously, even though, like you, again, I only ever did one secretarial job in university holidays.
I tend to draft posts and write them on the PC though. I use Windows Live Writer (free software.. love it) to draft the posts before I publish. My editing isn't always great though.
I think the blogging thing comes in waves. I've been close to quitting and then tend I have to force myself to write. I know the quality isn't the same, but I'm almost afraid that if I allow myself to stop, it will be very difficult to get back into it.

Anonymous said...

Madsagirl. Your ability to articulate issues that mean something to you knows no bounds and it is not a mental or writer's block! It is related to the fact that you are still not well and you need to give yourself time to fully recover. You admit as such yourself in the first paragraph of your post when you say "I never seemed to have any difficulty finding something to write about.....". This post that people are commenting on is one that actually presents your particular view on a type of depression related to another series of physical illnesses and how that has affected you and you will see from cb and alison's supportive comments that it resonates. Keep your mind focussed and the articulation on issues that matter to you will return in abundance. Just don't worry about it and concentrate on other things for a while, like resting and getting back to full health. Speak soon. :-))

Anonymous said...

I think you're amazing for managing to do so much AND write so many posts AND cope with depression. I have get a little fixated with my blog since I began last month and I'm afraid it has had to take the place of another activity - like my scrap book, which now lays in waste in the drawer - which I would otherwise be doing to 'relax' in my spare time. I don't find blogging particularly 'relaxing' although it is satisfying. I can get quite wound up writing a post then anticipating the comments afterwards. I guess this will calm down and I think I'm getting less concerned about what other people think.
As I said earlier, writing long-hand can feel more natural for me and I think that comes through in the writing.
I'm liking the sound of the VR software although I would feel a bit self-conscious as my walls are rather thin and I can hear the neighbours talking sometimes so obviously they can hear me!!
Hope your low mood begins to lift. The sleep thing is such a battles. I'm currently on less than 4 hours a night and I'm sure the world would seem so much kinder and brighter were we to get a restful night!
Take care,