Monthly Archives: June 2011
After an almost month long hiatus from blogging, due to my first horrendous case of eye strain, I encountered what happens in the life of a writer without eyes. I learned that eyes do have a shelf life and that writing 10-12 hours a day in front of a computer screen weeks on end isn’t the smartest contribution I can make to my writing career. Thankfully, after rushing to the ophthalmologist, I found out that I wasn’t going blind, nor did I need glasses. She did tell me however that I needed to take a serious break from such long writing stints in front of the computer screen. I made a deal with my ophthalmologist that I would faithfully use the eye drops she offered me and invest in a digital typewriter. Yes, that means not being eco-friendly and using more paper. But I will shred & recycle while preserving the organs that contribute to my livelihood. I also decided it was time to embrace my former ritual of hand writing first drafts which evolved from the days when I would actually just take a notebook and cool pen with me to the coffeeshop to write instead of my laptop.
During the first few weeks of my computer hiatus, as my burning/blurry eyes healed, I found myself falling into a depression of sorts not being able to embrace my natural manic writing mode. I tried the shorter writing stints, but for me, two hours in and I’m just getting started. There’s no such thing as setting a timer that goes ding and I can joyfully stop after two hours. For me, that’s like tossing an apple into the opera singer’s mouth mid-aria. Or pulling out a lung mid-breath. Ok, that’s a little drastic, but once the dance starts with the muse, I’m blissfully unaware of time and space. And I can finish only when the words stop, whether it’s two hours or six. Yes, my writing style is most likely an unhealthy Van Gogh approach, but I’m on backlog of at least 5 novels, so I have a lot that needs to come forth.
To keep myself from completely falling into an emotional hole, I filled my extra time with other things. I went to a couple of movies. I recycled the clothes in my closet vis a vis the local consignment store. More meditation practice. And I decided to catch up on the latest season of my favorite HBO show, True Blood, which has been quite delightful (Sookie Stackhouse attracts more handsome men than any character I’ve ever seen, albeit these men are vampires, shapeshifters, and bloody werewolves!).
It wasn’t until last week when I finally realized the words on the page were no longer blurry. I could read the fine print on the trial size of my shampoo bottle this morning that states this product is not tested on animals. While studying the bottle, enjoying this major miracle, dread crept up one final time as I realized how finite time is and I wondered when the day would come when my eyes wouldn’t recover and I would need bifocals. Fortunately, that time is not now.