Jay Lake (jaylake) wrote,
Jay Lake

[writing|cancer] Nature abhors a vacuum, and so do I

Except when one is on chemotherapy, apparently.

It's odd, being me right now. Normally my mind is a churn of imagination, images and random thoughts streaking off like Roman candles. But the chemo really does flatten my right brain. Curiously, not the left — fatigue can put paid to that, but my analytical thinking skills are still pretty intact so long as I'm rested and fed and not too tired.

Which is of course the main reason I haven't had to take a leave of absence from the Day Jobbe. I'm a little slower than normal but can still do the business thinking needed to perform my job functions.

In effect, though, I'm now on a 2-3 month leave of absence from my writing.

It's not gone. My dreams are still present, and they are decidedly right-brained. But asleep, definitely asleep. Yesterday afternoon I had to read page proofs on two different short stories. It was like trying to decipher Swahili. Short fiction, written by me, with only very light edits imposed. And wow, I practically got a headache.

The result is I feel like there's a vacuum in my head. A creative vacuum. Prior to cancer and chemotherapy, I'd gone through an entire writing career without suffering writer's block for more than 2-3 days at a time. There's always something to write so long as I've had the time. But chemotherapy (and likewise surgery, albeit on a much shorter timescale) seems to be the ultimate block to me. First slowing me down, then grinding me to a halt as I sit in a creative vacuum, slowly reaching equilibrium with the silence around me.

And it makes me sad.

Tags: cancer, health, personal, process, work, writing

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