North by northwest. The round table nearest to Sprouts. I decided to face north, because I never face north, anymore. When I am here. All the best seats, for a wheelchair, face into the crowd. I usually try to write at some oblique angle. I want to focus, and not be distracted by social interactions.

Now that the weather is cooling down. Now that I am in afternoon shadow, rather than staring down summer’s desert sunset. I can sit here and look out at Southern Avenue, while I write. I am one with the ancients. The Sun dictates seating arrangements. She typically calms down.

Come, September.


I am surprised by my ability to write, today. I hurt.

Not bad. Because, I can write. But, when I have painful days that are not bad, I sometimes ask why I should bother.

The answer is that I never know what will happen after trying. Each day of practice is another chance to crack the hard shell of the walnut. The meat is tasty. Yes.

I just wrote a passage for the narrative that forms the basis of my book. Today, I can hold my head high. On my pillow, as I drift to sleep.

When my blog goes dormant.

My symptoms are to blame. I have increasingly been struggling with thinking. I am fairly certain that this is disease-related. And, when I can’t think, my writing bores.

I have been wanting to post something to my blog, each and every day that I fail to do so. Lately, I can’t trust my own judgement, as to what is worth sharing. In fact, on many days, reading anything at all is difficult. And, when I can’t follow a simple narrative, I am a defeated judge of quality.

The good news is that while I have been struggling to think, I have also made headway in dealing with the problem. Today is a perfect example. A myotonic-dystrophy fatigue forced me to nap this afternoon. Pain invaded my sleep. I nodded off tired and woke with a raging muscle ache. Everything hurts, but my head and neck distinguish themselves in this rodeo.

Normally, I wouldn’t be capable of writing for my blog under these conditions. But, today is no typical day. Today, my efforts at fighting through brain-haze are paying dividends.

While I might not have made much progress with my book, these past eight months, I have learned quite a bit about managing my symptoms. In the past, I have referred to this condition as writer’s block. But now, I would be wrong to do so. I know better. I would like to share with you some of what I have learned. For, today, in spite of my symptoms. I not only can read. I can write.

Where? I am.

I will start by telling you where I am.  People, who know I am writing a book, often ask.  Well.  How far along are you?  How many pages have you written?  I can tell my answers leave them silently wondering.  So, today is just a progress report.  I know it seems weird that I need to begin my discourse on writer’s block with a progress report on my book.  I wish it was easier to explain.

***  ***  ***

You see.  The problem is that my book is embedded in my daily journal.  Every day, a new page.  Here is how I now organize them.

I have a Journal folder.  Journal is broken down by years.  Years are broken into months.  And months, into days.  Days are pages.  All things, else, are folders:
















            2014-08-04:  This is the name of today’s page.  August 4th.

I find this particular YYYY-MM-DD format highly intuitive, because, the alphabetical is chronological.  No need to look for things.  My memories are embedded in time.  It’s easier to remember what I wrote by recalling what I was dealing with, when I thunk that thought.  And, it is easier to scan my work if it is sorted chronologically.  It synchronizes my eyes with my brain.

But, mind the zeros.  The zeros are necessary to retain order.  This would not work if I had named the 2nd as 2014-08-2.  Because, I would have a crisis brewing by the 10th.

My journal is all digital now.  But, I have volumes of spiral bound notebooks dating before 2011.  That year, writing by hand became difficult.

2011 is mixed between paper and digital.  It is the year my symptoms grew loud.  My new book actually starts around January of 2013.

Because, by then, I had received a diagnosis, and had the better part of a year to come to terms with what was happening to me physically.  By 2013, I was ready to move beyond it, as a subject for my journal.  I had accepted my new situation.  By the time 2013 was new, I wanted to write the book I had started, before my symptoms came, to occupy my thoughts.  But, that unfinished, old book, and those motivations, seemed too distant.

Writer’s block

I know what I should be doing.  I should be writing a book.  I mean, I have all the time in the world, given that I don’t work, due to my disability.

That’s what I have been telling myself this past year.  And, believe me, I have been trying.  But, it is time for me to begin speaking about what has been holding me back.  My book is the paramount focus of my writing efforts. But, I also have this blog.  And, I want to say things.  But, I’m telling you that this is not enough.

My daily output was dwindling.  I could see it in my journal.  It was evident here, on my blog.  And, it wasn’t from a lack of effort.  I was just finding it difficult to say the things I wanted to say.

Now, it would be wrong to refer to this problem of mine as mere writer’s block.  It was certainly a part of the problem.  But, it wasn’t even close to being a good, or proper, understanding.  And, I can only tell you this now, because I have been learning so much, this year.  For instance, I could not have even known where to begin, just last week.  Because, last week, this narrative had not yet emerged from within my fog.  I could see the shape.  I knew I was close to it.  But, I couldn’t properly describe what I saw.

So, I’ll begin as though I am discussing writer’s block.  And hopefully, after I go on to reveal how much more there was to my case of the dreaded condition, I’ll remember to come back to it, in summary.  This tale will play out over the coming days, here, on my blog.

If you want to know how to defeat writer’s block, I will tell you how I defeated mine.  I can’t promise that this would work for you.  Your circumstances are probably different.

Elaborating on yesterday’s post.

While I retain the ability to think about my story, during this latest episode of symptoms, the willingness to write is diminished.

I can think about my story. I can have new insights. But it is still a challenge, in this state, to find the energy to develop the narrative.

That’s what I’m trying to overcome, right now. That is why I’m posting these brief thoughts.

Traction overcomes inertia.