Since the home invasion (if you haven’t yet, you can read about it here), I’ve been battling with my writing. I can’t seem to immerse myself as fully into my make-believe worlds as I used to. This is problematic, because if I can’t see, hear, smell and feel my characters, I can’t write about them. The robbery changed me in a fundamental way, and things I used to do I can’t do anymore, which means I also have to adjust my writing routines and rituals. I used to listen to music while I wrote – headphones on, music blasting my eardrums to an early death. I can’t do that anymore. I need to hear what’s going on around me, and if I can’t hear, I get panicky, and when I get panicky, I can’t write.
Part of my process involved a few weeks of ‘daydreaming’ about the new story and characters. It required me sinking deep into my imagination, shutting out the rest of the world, and just concentrating on the people in my head. But now, unwelcome thoughts intrude, and the story falls apart. I have to keep my mind constantly active to keep out obsessive thoughts – that means reading a lot of cracked.com, or watching a lot of really bad television, but nothing creative, because even reading fiction cuts off the outside world, and that drives me fucking nuts.