Colds are peculiar. The symptoms and suffering are rubbish - lots of snot, coughing, sneezing. Which granted, aren't pleasant to be around, but they're not life-threatening. My strategy for them has changed over the years. I used to ignore them in a manly way until they incapacitated me and I wound up sick for almost a month rather than a week. Not anymore. Now I indulge it, do as the doctors say: rest, plenty of fluids, all that sort of stuff. And it lasts about a week. Kind of. There's always a lingering sniffle, or cough. It can be so annoying that I forget how bad the cold was, and complain more about it than when I was actually sick. I felt too rubbish to complain when I was sick. Sometimes it lingers until the next cold.
I don't have a cold at the moment, and any lingering sniffles are nothing to do with viruses.
I do, however, have writer's block. It's been almost a week since I was productive on the book. The document is opened, pale behind the browser I type this on, and I'm very close to overcoming a large milestone both in story and in terms of nice, round numbers. But not much is coming. I'll type a sentence and delete it. I revert to my methods of dealing with colds.
The manly, ignore it and it will go away method - I stare at the page, nothing comes, so I move on. I'll check Boston.com for Red Sox news, quit Safari or Firefox, and then stare at the page some more. Wander into the house to grab a bottle of water from the fridge, linger in the kitchen, contemplate a snack, head back to the Belfry and almost try again, but then decide that updating the blog is almost as good, because that's writing too. I'll take yet more pointless pictures of the mess around my desk and delete them. I'll take a pointless picture of my new Red Sox hat. I'll check out movie news.
Recently, spider relocation has served as a great distraction. There is no end to the spider population in the Belfry. I've spoken of it before. It used to irk me. Not because I'm arachnophobic - I'm not - but because I was outnumbered. Every time I dusted their webs away, two more would pop up. Now I don't dust their homes away: I shuffle them or their web onto a piece of paper, carefully make my way down the spiral stairs , open the door, double check the spider is still on - or at least dangling from - the piece of paper and deposit it in the garden. While I do this, two more enter the house. But I don't mind. Whether this is due to newfound respect for them or just some impending nostalgia kick, my departure looming ever closer, is unclear. It doesn't matter. Dumping arachnids in the garden doesn't write my book.
It's clear this manly ignoring of my writer's block and just getting on with everything else doesn't work. Because I'm not writing. Some writers say to keep writing through it. I don't really know how that works. Maybe if I stare hard enough at the document, the words will come, like those hidden picture thingies. I never saw those pictures though, so maybe that's not the best tactic. Perhaps then, just one word at a time. I won't write any pages wittering away here, relocating spiders or checking on the Red Sox.
The lingering sniffles of bad grammar, punctuation and typos will be welcome after this. I won't complain, honest.