I constructed the plot of the novel on a single piece of paper in a blinding flash of inspiration, and stuck to it religiously. This was essential to avoid getting confused and filling the story with contradictions. Some days I was too ill to write, so I lay down and elaborated scenes in my head. When the computer screen radiation hurt my eyes too much, I wrote with pen and paper, then typed up later.
I was not taking things in, I was bringing them out, delving into my memories and embellishing them with my imagination. I found this often cleared my mind, instead of bringing down the dreaded brain fog.
Many congratulations, Veronica! What an accomplishment. The book sounds fascinating, and it is going on my reading list.
I traveled extensively and had 'sojourns' (studying or working abroad for a year or less) in a few different countries before I got sick. I always wanted to go to Istanbul but never got there (the closest I have gotten is reading the book "Istanbul" by the Turkish author Orhan Pamuk, whose work I love; I also have a mini-collection of those lucky charms).
What you said in the quote highlighted in Cort's post above was both fascinating and inspiring to me. When I can't do anything more than lie on my sofa and maybe listen to music, I often indulge in memories of my experiences. I've also thought about somehow "getting them out" - and your remark really spoke to this. Thanks for that. Congrats again...
QUOTE FROM CORT:
How nice to be able to create a new world - to envision this new place and then live in it for awhile. I would think that would only be helpful. How is your health before and after writing the book?
My health improved quite a lot while I was writing the book, but unfurtunately it has deteriorated a lot since then. I obviously need to start writing another one...
QUOTE FROM CORT:
It's clear that you were really committed to getting this story out. You both seem to have had this vision of what you wanted to accomplish.
You're right. It almost felt like being pregnant - something I simply had to get out!!
Shiso - have you read "The White Castle" by Orhan Pamuk? It's the first novel of his that I read and, to be honest, the only one that I really enjoyed. I find most of his writing a bit too enigmatic.
I would really recommend that you try a bit of creative writing, even if you only jot down single sentences in a random way. It's so therapeutic, especially when you are so afraid that your brain and memories are fading away. Sometimes I construct a whole short story or chapter around fragments.
I was actually wondering if it could be fun to start a creative writing thread, where anyone can put up poetry or short stories or whatever they like, for feedback? Would anyone be interested in that?
I think a creative writing thread or section or group would be great.
I did a visualization exercise in which I imagined where I wanted to be in 1 year and 5 years. One of the things I wanted was to be serene and calm instead of kind of irritable and bothered. I found that just by bringing that idea - that vision of myself up - I did become more serene and calm. I envisioned it - I got in that world - and I find that vision of a kind of alternative lifestyle for me - is a kind of anchor I can use to improve my quality of life. I wouldn't say I am serene and calm all the time at all but I am certainly calmer. I was really surprised.
Yes, it's Di Grigoli. I hadn't even noticed myself! I'll PM Cort about it, thank you Merry.
I liked what you wrote about envisioning yourself as a calmer person, Cort. The way you found using your imagination changing your mood is just the experience I have had with writing, though I tend to go back to good times/experiences in the past instead of projecting myself into an imaginary future. I MUST try doing that.
Athene, first of all, congratulations on your novel. That is just so superb. What an accomplishment considering the battle you wage against CFS. I look forward to reading it. Secondly, given your background, have you any plans to join our on-going discussion of EMMA in the book group? Finally, a resounding "Yes!" to a creative writing group. Good idea. Writing can be such a catharsis.
Its does help with QOL, for sure. Too much exertion dumps me back into that kind of stress ridden state but within a framework of activity appropriate to me it works very well. It takes consistent work but it pays off. :Retro smile:
Ashok Gupta uses the past to create a similar scenario but I had alot of trouble reaching back into the good experiences of the past could rarely get there - moving forward was much easier for me.
In inspiring effort on what can be achieved living with CFS.
I admire your determination & skill in getting a novel written (& published).
Hope the future brings many more successes your way.
I've posted my first message to the "Emma" Discussion. I've been making slow progress as I cannot find my copy, so I've been reading online. But I've been enjoying re-reading it a great deal and also reading eveyone else's comments as I go along.