One of those pessimistic days?


Above: “When there is no solution, make one. That’s kind of what entrepreneurs do.”

I’m having one of those pessimistic writing days. I went to sleep last night with a little bit of a cough, and when I woke up, before I could peel my eyes open or try to speak, I knew that I was sick, that something had bloomed and raged in the night.

My throat was sore. That feeling you have when you get a first degree burn on your pinky? Except it’s in your throat? That.

My throat has nothing to do with my writing, I know. And yet it does. It’s from where I speak, and from where I project sound. I know writing doesn’t have literal sound, but it has figurative sound. Writing can whisper and it can scream. And my throat hurts.

It is more difficult than usual to write today.

I was on vacation all last week in New Orleans, where I feasted on all things shellfish, butter and fried and then more often than not drenched in some sort of cream (crawfish cream sauce!) or mayonaise-based (remoulade!) sauce. Oftentimes, these things were stuffed into each other (hello, stuffed flounder: flounder stuffed with crab drenched in crawfish cream sauce).

It was a great trip, one involving lots of walks down unfamiliar streets and architecture involving Creole cottages, shotgun houses, double-gallery homes, and Gothic mansions, the sun filtering through magnolia blossoms and overgrown vines, warming my bones for the first time in months.

I only wrote one day out of the whole week–with Jamey, at a cute little cafe-that-once-upon-a-time-was-a-bank. And what a writing day it was! I wrote and wrote a great number of words, forging a path in novel territory that I’d found difficult in days past.

But I didn’t write the rest of the week. I was either eating, or having unhealthy obsessions about weight gain and walking and walking (more on this, in a later post). In the back of my head, I felt even guiltier about not writing.

I expected to launch straight back into my writing this week.

But no. I’m sick. I’m paying for the blessings of last week. And my body’s sickness is going to my head. I’m feeling pessimistic. A novel is so hard to write. My novel feels impossible to revise and finish. I wish I could quit. I wish to do something that brings me happiness. But then I realize, writing this dark novel of mine makes me happy. Which then makes me wonder what went wrong in my childhood that draws me to this brand of twisted, difficult-to-earn happiness.

So I lay on the couch, competing for prime real estate with my two wiener dogs, sipping meyer lemon + honey + a pinch of cayenne in hot water, waiting for a turnaround.

p.s. in other news..I’ve decided to write those 30 snail mail letters on my 2012 To Do List over the next month or so. I’m going to mail a letter out to friends everyday.



Filed under Life, Writing

5 responses to “One of those pessimistic days?

  1. Hey Christine,

    Your time in New Orleans sounds beautiful. Crawfish cream sauce!

    Writing a novel, is we know, feels like it will never end. It’s hard to do, but try not to think about it when you’re sick. When your body gives in that way, it’s hard to imagine cooking a basic scrambled egg dish for yourself, much less taking on the arduous task of novel revision. It will look much less formidable on a healthy day. I hope you get well soon!

  2. Jimin Han

    Even when you feel miserable you write such great lines: “That feeling you have when you get a first degree burn on your pinky? Except it’s in your throat?” Love this. Rest up. I agree with Krys. Yes, it’ll look better on another day. Thx for posting. Hope you feel better soon.

  3. CC

    If you can’t write today, read. I good book always helps me escape.

  4. @Krys: My heart wants to write. My body cannot. Bleah.

    @Jimin: Thank you for the encouragement.

    @CC: You are so right. So virtuous.

  5. Feel better soon! It’s so frustrating when your body slows you down. My hubby makes a similar cayenne pepper drink with limes and oranges along with the lemon. I’m a believer! I also love Stash’s meyer lemon tea with honey.

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