Thursday, May 23, 2013

Mushroom Head

So I gave myself a choice this morning.  I could either get up from this computer and prepare my body early for the day or I could write.  A medication change is making me drowsier in the morning, which means I don't feel like doing either thing, but I don't feel like going back to sleep, either.  Sitting on the couch like a zombie isn't in my array of choices.  If I'm going to feel like this, I might as well accomplish something, right?

I'm pleased to say I do indeed have paying work, and for that I am grateful.  I don't want to do it until I am fully awake, however, since editing while foggy-minded rarely yields a decent product.  Editing keeps you on your toes, or it should, anyway.

I thought I might begin a short poem since some poems flow better when the mind is muddled, but I can't think of anything at the moment.  My last poem dealt with social inequity and I still don't feel it is complete.  I plan to take it to a writing workshop and see what I can make of it.  I don't know what's missing.  I just know it's not done.  This is common with art.  Even if someone else views the piece as decent, if the artist doesn't, then something is awry.  True, at some point you have to put the piece away, call it finished and move on.  But I can't seem to do that.

I've got one poem that took me more than ten years and ten revisions to write.  I thought I would never get to a point where I was satisfied with it, but I finally did.  It turned out to be a completely different poem than the one I'd started, which is not surprising.  Sometimes you have to write until you figure out what you really want to say.  This entry is an example.  It turns out, what I want to write about is my writing process and how much of a perfectionist I can be.  The problem is, deadlines get in the way, reality strikes back and with that comes imperfection or at least imperfection in the eyes of the writer.  I've been told this makes me a good writer, but it's difficult reconciling deadlines with personal and external expectations.  Sometimes I think it's worse when I'm writing and editing for someone else, not only because of the deadline, but because I'm being paid.  I want to do the best job I can and the deadlines get in the way.  I don't want to disappoint the customer, make the customer appear unprofessional because of my work or create materials that say "amateur."  Some of this has to do with my anxiety, of course, but much of it is an artistic "thing."

I hate when medication gets in the way of thinking.  Feeling like a thin veil exists between me and the real world--something like going through the day with a head cold--not only messes with my perceptions, it confuses communications.  I'm just not up to par and have to work around the disempowering emotion tied up with the experience.  The worst symptom of medication is trouble with word retrieval.  I'm a writer for goodness sakes. I can't have word retrieval problems!

At times like these, I try to be gentler with myself, especially if my sinuses are bothering me like they are now, which increases my feeling like my brain is a mushroom.  I prod myself to complete my tasks but allow myself extra rest if I need it.  I try not to be self-judgmental, but given my work ethic, it's not easy to do.  I remind myself that self flagellation is counterproductive.  Intellectually, I understand this and know I would say the same thing to friends having similar issues.  But again, it's not easy.

All of this is to say, perhaps I should write a poem about medication affecting perception or maybe even more specifically, writing.  I'm  not sure yet.  I think I will wait until I wake up to make that decision.
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