January 2020: Complaining about publishing frustrations and writers' block. Slogging through my busy week of scopes, deliveries, and seemingly endless patient visits in the office.
Fast forward to April 2020: I would gladly donate my left kidney to have the pleasure of dealing with the issues from January. Nowadays, most visits are virtual. The few visits in person for newborns and pregnant patients about to deliver are done in full facemarks and goggles/shields. All clothing is the same: street clothes to go to work, scrubs + white coat at work, change back into street clothes to go home, everything in the washer, and me in the shower. Literally rinse and repeat every single day of the past 6 weeks. Normal is the feel of my warm breath inside of a mask that stays on my face for 10 hours every day.
What's not normal is how my Day Job medical world collides with my Writing Job.
The parts of my Day Job I enjoyed no longer exist at this time. No gentle shake of a patient's hand, no quick procedures, visible smiles, hugs, easy laughter, asking about summer plans. Everything has that undercurrent of tension.
The words come but with difficulty. The mind will not un-clench from the constant worries of safety, infection, sickness, death, recovery, treatment. Future plans aren't for next year or even next month anymore -- at most the future means the next day, the next week. Blog posts and lighthearted social media seems inadequate to everything right now.
The parts of my Writing Job I enjoyed most cannot exist as they had been -- not right now at least: the workshops and small group discussions, the laughter with other writers, the excitement of meeting a reader who enjoys my books, the camaraderie at a crowded book signing.
It looks like the summer signings will need to be pushed back until next year. While I am waiting for official word from my healthcare organization, it looks like physicians will be asked not to travel and congregate unless it's an emergency. While I think my book signings are >FIVE ALARM< amazing, they still aren't "emergency."
Stay tuned for the latest. There are some other writerly fun things brewing! One day, we won't be 6 feet away. One day, out existence won't be Zoom meetings. One day, laughter will return. And one day, the words will flow again!
Have I mentioned for you to stay tuned? :)