Stalled Pen

Just read Twistingthreads‘ post, “Deadlocked.” I sometimes find a piece of myself in the thoughts this blogger records. This particular post hit on my frustrations precisely, but for different reasons. I haven’t been writing fiction for weeks. I haven’t any real inclination to work on my story. This is insanely uncommon for me.

My husband lost his job a few weeks ago. We married while still in school. Even while maintaining a 4.0 GPA, this amazing guy worked to support us. He’s supported our family ever since. (And I’m going to stop there before this post becomes “Ode to My Husband, A Veritable Superman.”) So you see what’s at the crux of my Writer’s Block. Everything else (like the irritation I feel at myself for conforming to everyone and their dog’s blog advice for writing, to the point that my work is taking on the sheen of a Stepford wife) would fix itself but for this one issue.

So, what am I doing these days? At first, he and I were tag teaming filling out online applications. Now he’s got about fifteen hundred recruiters handling that side of things for him. (Okay, maybe that’s a hyperbolic estimate. It just feels like that.) When he was laid off, he asked if I could end the school year early. (We home educate, and I had 11 more days to go, according to my self-imposed schedule.) I knew he needed me, so we closed up shop. For the first week, I had records and textbooks and school shelves to clean out and pack up. Now that’s done, and I feel empty.

We had plans for the summer that have been either canceled or put on hold, one of which was my plan to send out a horde of queries to a list of agents I’ve been compiling. I’m in enough emotional turmoil that I don’t need to add the feelings of rejection about my manuscript to that, or, for that matter, my reactions to the initial correspondences that might lead to acceptance.

How do I describe what life is like right now… It’s like I’m in a vacuum experiencing overload. Some days I’m on a high, cleaning house like a maniac, completing the projects I couldn’t seem to get around to before, having long-overdue get-togethers with friends and family, finding ways to use all the canned goods that were shoved to the back of my pantry I bought and forgot about. Then there are the days I go fuzzy in the head and watch Korean drama until I can’t stand it and start manipulating the video to see if I can skip to where the guy is going to yank her by the arm into an embrace that looks about as comforting as hugging a dead fish.

I’ve not given up hope or anything here—about writing or about the job hunt. At present, I don’t know how to feel, or what to feel. It’s a dip in the road. I’m down in the valley, and can’t see the big picture yet. One day, I know I’ll look back and see the road behind me. The dip will hardly be visible, and I’ll be able to see why the direction we took was the right one. I have faith that God is seeing us through this transition. I have many, many proofs by the way some form of encouragement comes just when I need it most—and exactly the way I needed to know it. We have loving, concerned friends and strong family ties, not only physical but spiritual family ties. God is stretching out His hands to us through these avenues daily. Because of this, He’s answering a question I haven’t been able to voice these past few weeks. He’s letting me know that we didn’t do anything wrong. We weren’t being irresponsible or undependable. We were doing just what we were supposed to be doing, and these things are bound to happen in this economy.

I know it’s all going to work out. Right now, it’s taking everything I have just to be still and know God’s in charge. For some reason, that has stilled my pen, too.

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