The In-Between—CoronaLife Day 334

Have you ever been sick for a few days or more? Long enough for it to really drain you? As you recover, there is a time I call the in-between, where your spirit has rallied, but your body isn’t there yet. It is a restless, impatient time, where you WANT to do things, you feel READY to do things…but you don’t have the stamina or strength to do those things. It usually only lasts a few days, but it is an incredibly frustrating time.

I am in the in-between right now. I have not been physically ill (thankfully), but I have been in a creative slump for many years now. It started in November 2016. I am not the only creative deeply affected by that election and the years that followed. My anxiety ratcheted up, and that always saps my creative energy. Still, I was able to work in spurts—I would be very productive for a week or two, then crash back into nothing.

The pandemic wiped me out completely. Lockdowns, remote schooling, anxiety overload…I had not a drop of anything left for creating. I went from berating myself for not doing ENOUGH to berating myself for not doing ANYTHING. It got to the point where, when I turned 50, I thought, “Maybe I should just be done with this. I clearly don’t have what it takes.”


I am stubborn. And I am still here.

The vaccine—as imperfect as the rollout has been—is promising a light at the end of this long, dark tunnel. Promising a time when we might get back to something approaching normalcy. And, after the horrific events of January 6th, having Biden sworn in successfully has slowly brought me some peace. Promising a time when we as neighbors can talk to each other again without insults, without shouting. When we can listen to understand, not just to respond.

Thus, I find myself once again at the in-between. I am, finally, feeling like I WANT to work on my projects. However, my writing muscles, so long out of use, are flabby and weak. It will take more time for me to have the strength of mind to get back to my work. So for now I am poking at one project, then another, trying to see which of them sparks something. Maybe I will round-robin them for a while—write a scene here, edit a chapter there, wonder what the heck I was even thinking on the other. When I first started writing, I always had more than one story going at the same time. It kept me from getting stuck, because if I did I would jump to another until I figured out the problem. When I got older and the demands of adulthood and motherhood constrained my time, I focused on one project at a time, just so I could finish.

The in-between is painful. It is frustrating. But it is also hopeful.

Maybe it’s not time to hang up this dream after all.

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