I’ve been suffering from something akin to writer’s block. I mean, I’ve experienced writer’s block before, but this is different.
Since COVID-19 ripped through the fabric of everyday life and changed the way we interact with the world, I’ve lost a huge amount of personal motivation. I haven’t lost my desires or wishes. I haven’t lost my interests, but I’ve lost my ability to sit down at my writing desk or anywhere else and focus on writing; well, writing a complex story.
I’m not depressed per se. I’m still active as an investor and have made many successful trades as the markets has swung wildly during this crisis. I’m still interested in binging the great movie and television content. I still enjoy playing video games, especially Fallout 76. I enjoy making coffee in the morning. All that stuff is still okay. Basically, my life is secure and my health is generally okay.
The problem I have begins in the morning hours–my best writing time–leaving me fatigued and unmotivated. I accept that my blood disorder might play a role in my malaise, but the swings in my platelet count (Thrombocytopenia) don’t present obvious an adverse health effects, other than frequent bruising and occasional nose bleeds. The thing is, I’ve had cITP for almost eight years and I wrote Book I and a draft of Book II during that time.
My best self-diagnosis is, I’m overwhelmed by the psychological side effects of the coronavirus pandemic.
I’ve read that a lot of people around the world are experiencing psychological stresses related to the COVID-19 shelter-in-place isolation. In my case, yes, that’s true, but it’s also something deeper. I find myself having a disturbing internal dialog on life itself. Just knowing that everyone in the world is experiencing this pandemic is a profound event. Then toss in the usual election year political insanity, coupled with rioters (aka protesters) burning down large segments of cities across the country, and I can’t escape a sense of the futility of the human condition. I don’t believe people are stupid, but I see a sickening level of willful ignorance or they attach themselves to the foolish whims of groups they want to fit into. No matter how smart you are, if you are ignorant or mindlessly dogmatic you are, you may fail to distinguish important differences or facts. And you aren’t going to make rational decisions. Well, just my humble opinion.
This pandemic has peeled back so many layers of humanity’s underbelly. I’ve been forced to reconsider one of the key themes of The Temporal Expeditions trilogy. That theme is that humanity has the intelligence to solve problems if given the opportunity. It’s implied in Book I (Escape from Extinction), and imbedded in the remainder of the story. So, there’s that.
Maybe my mysterious block is just the crazy uncle of old fashioned writers block.