My MFA program starts up this week–my first workshop since the stroke is next Tuesday evening. I’m trying to amp myself up for the return to school! I really am full of hope. I really do feel like a new beginning approaches.
But I am also filled with self doubt as the door begins to open.
By physician standards, I’m cured. I waved goodbye to my neurologist months ago. Same with my speech therapist. The PFO, aka the hole in my heart and diagnosed cause for the strokes, is now closed. I was cleared for exercise a month ago–and this past Sunday, I went on a morning hike in the Sierras, marking the fastest pace I’ve ever set on a hike.
I still tire remarkably easily, I was exhausted after that short hike. After a day at work, I spend the next day recuperating. It takes me FOREVER to write anything at all, though it is still more than I could write a few months ago (and before that, in the early days after the stroke, I couldn’t write fiction at all). And after a day of fiction writing (because it does take me an entire day to get a few pages down now), I’m exhausted again.
I’m inspired and so discouraged and exhausted all at once.
Will I EVER be the same again? No. What is my writing like now? I am filled with self-doubt about my fiction. I think it might just totally suck. After all, I don’t catch my writing errors until the 3rd or 4th read through, so what’s to say I can’t even detect sucky writing when I see it? The thought of not writing anymore is driving me nuts. So of course, I move forward, blind and full of hope, making scattered mistakes along the way that scream, “Your brain is NOT all the way back!”
Today, I wrote something down. On the 3rd read through I realized I’d misused a word. I’d used “transfer” to say something like, “Who knew one could transfer a common fruit into such remarkable food?”
Hrm. I think I misused that word, I thought. Transfer, transfer, transfer. It didn’t sound right. But what was the correct word? I KNEW it was simple, but I couldn’t figure out the right word.
After ten minutes (yes, TEN MINUTES–that’s a LONG time to spend on something so f*cking BASIC!!!!!!!)….I hit the nail on the head.
Oh. Transform. Transforrrrm. I should have written, “Who knew one could transform a common fruit into such remarkable food?”
This is my writing life. I feel like a retard who might not even know the extent of her retardation.
And yet–ignorance is NOT bliss.