From Scratch

The sound of the percolator nudges me awake before the scent of coffee reaches my nostrils. I’ve been setting the timer for 6:00 AM to coincide with my alarm clock. I find it easier to wake up when I know the coffee is already waiting for me. For the last week or so I’ve been waking up early to figure out how to turn one of my short stories into a novel. It was going great until I realized that I didn’t want to write about it anymore – the short story is set in the present tense and the pandemic plays a huge role. WHO WANTS TO WRITE A STORY ABOUT THE PANDEMIC WHILE THEY ARE LIVING THROUGH IT?

Not me.

Who would want to read about it?

Not me.

So now I must start again, from scratch. Usually a blank page fills me with a combination of doubt and excitement, anxiety and relief, fear and courage. Right now, opening a new Google Doc knocks the wind out of me. I am extremely fatigued, too fatigued to think about coming up with a plot and then writing 100,000 words. I’m trying to focus on the moment and the task at hand but it’s proving difficult.

It doesn’t matter how much self-care I’m doing, how much fresh air I get, how much I work out, or how many hours I sleep, I wake up tired and go to bed exhausted. I force myself to write or read while sipping my morning coffee, I shower, put on makeup and do my hair – even though I’m working from home and no one sees me. I find my energy draining faster than it used to and filling up my coffee cup a third time isn’t helping anymore.

Perhaps it’s just a funk or the I’m hitting the pandemic wall – either way I hope it doesn’t last too long.

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