January was a fun month for writing. And I state that with as much sarcasm I as I can possibly muster.
To be fair, there were a few bright spots: I finalized the largest paid writing assignment I've had (to date); I was asked to submit a few guest posts which are coming up at other websites; and I knocked out a couple of pretty good posts for Prodigal Magazine. But after that, things got tricky.
Okay, not so much tricky as sickly: Ashley got sick. And since she's pregnant, that meant that she needed to rest as much as possible, so I was on Kai duty pretty much 24/7. But a couple of days after she got sick, so did he. Anyone who has a kid can tell you that taking care of them solo is difficult work, but taking care of them solo, while they're sick, is doubly difficult.
So of course about three days after he got sick, I woke up with a fever of 102.
All this adds up to three people, at various ages and stages of being sick, having to stay confined to the inside of their house for nearly ten days straight. And yes, it's about as exciting and relaxing as it sounds.
The first time any of us felt well enough to venture outside to something other than the drug or grocery store was this past Saturday. Therefore, we thought an attempt to get back to normalcy where I spend the day writing while they have a "Mommy/Malakai Play Date" was in order. I loaded up my notebooks, my iPad, and my bag of trail mix, and headed off to a favored writing spot in order to let the backlog of creativity just come flowing out of me.
An hour later, I realized all I'd been doing was cutting and pasting the same paragraphs over and over again, arranging them in different sequences.
Right now, my brain has the same problem my palate has: everything is bland. While I was waylaid by the flu these past few weeks, my tongue stopped tasting things. Nothing has the same pop or flavor that it held only recently. My writing is experiencing the same problem; the words I write out seem to be flat, dull, and lacking in spice. I know it's not always going to be like this, and that that words in my heart will come to life once more and eventually show up again. But for the time being, it's a struggle.
That's why for as frustrating as it is, I keep writing. I had to down bland soup, bland crackers, bland grilled cheese sandwiches, and even bland coffee (to me) while sick in order to give my body the energy it needed to help fight the infection. If this means I have to stare for a little while longer at a blinking cursor and write out words that I think contain as much passion as reading a DVD player manual, so be it.
The alternative is to let the coating of crud remain.
And I enjoy cooking - and writing - far too much to let that happen.