First off, I apologize for my disappearance. Updating my blog on a weekly basis is important to me, but sometimes the “fleas of life” intervene. What are they? Well, they can be literal fleas (in my last apartment they sprung from the carpet, constantly making my skin crawl) or the setbacks of daily living, drawing my focus away from writing.
I stumbled across this post by author Dani Shapiro in which she describes her experience dealing with the fleas of life. She’d read an interview with novelist William Styron, in which he said, “Writers ever since writing began have had problems, and the main problem narrows down to just one word—life…every writer since the beginning of time, just like other people, has been afflicted by what a friend of mine calls “the fleas of life”—you know, colds, hangovers, bills, sprained ankles, and little nuisances of one sort or another. They are the constants of life, at the core of life, along with nice little delights that come along every now and then.”
Yes! This advice from 58 years ago still rings true. In fact, I was too hungover on Saturday to get any writing done, and on Sunday errands and household chores consumed the daylight hours. A very aggressive bluish green mold is taking over our bedroom, so my fiancé and I have been banished to the ‘man cave’ next door. Better safe than sorry? Let me tell you, I haven’t slept in a week.
Between the blaring television (he likes it on, I can’t stand it) and the hard mattress on the floor, I feel like I’m in an evil lab experiment to determine when I lose my mind. This living situation transports me back to the days of his purple futon, nestled in a cluttered Victorian house, shared with a bunch of Thai people. Only we’re not twenty-three anymore. And honestly, I preferred the futon.
My point is, all that time I spent freaking out and spraying down our bedroom with bleach (before giving up) was time taken away from writing. But that doesn’t mean I get to keep putting off my blog, the short story I’m working on, and novel editing forever. Even though I’m so tired I don’t know if this post is coherent, it feels good to get words on the screen. This is me time. Writing itself is one of the “nice little delights” Styron refers to. At least I think so.
With that, I’ll drink a second cup of chai, get my laundry from the dryer, and be grateful my fleas are small ones. Life isn’t perfect right now, but I know it will sort itself out. So whatever your “fleas” are, continue writing, dreaming and staying on course. Because even if you’re awake past one in the morning (like me!) watching Pawn Stars on the History channel, it might just spark an idea.