A Writer Not Writing

A Writer Not Writing

I’ve not blogged in a long time.

I was preparing a piece on the importance of touch typing, and the irony is not lost on me. I’ve been ill. It started with a slight swelling in my right foot accompanied by numbness and a tingling sensation that spread to my legs. It wasn’t unpleasant, pulling my trousers up over a mad tingling was oddly thrilling; but, particularly when it reached my bottom, it was fear inducing terrifying. Around the same time I also caught hypochondria off the internet.

After a while, it flipped: below the waist went back to normal, but above the waist various parts took it in turn to swell up, go numb, tingle or a combination of the all three. I’ve seen eight Doctors (sadly medical, rather than the actors in my favourite TV show), who have all shrugged in various ways. What are the criteria before I can claim Wake’s Syndrome?

Finally, after weeks, it settled in my hands.

My hands!

My motor skills were still there, I could feel textures and temperature, but the ‘signal noise’ meant anything I used to do purely by touch became impossible. I couldn’t do up buttons, I couldn’t handwrite and, worst of all, I couldn’t touch type. A writer who can’t write is a truly useless thing.

I tried dictation software, correct ‘so oft were’, no don’t write ‘so oft were’, oh undo, no, not the whole paragraph, don’t type that youth king stew bit computer… and so on, until there’s just a document full of swearing. It’s affected the way I speak.

“Hello comma Andy comma how are you question mark.”

Things like being unable to get my credit card wallet out of my pocket, while the cashier looked at me disparagingly and the queue behind built up impatiently, have given me a real appreciation of disability issues.

Gradually, at a Plutonic frozen nitrogen glacial speed, it’s gradually getting better. Typing became possible with an error every other word, then two per sentence and so on, until now it just feels really strange. I’ve not tried a thousand word sprint yet, but I am back to typing – phew.

However, the idea of finishing the third Derring-Do Club novel by the Steampunk convention, Asylum, has been blown out of the water. My heroines are nowhere near surviving the terrible events of the Invasion of the Grey, but I’m finally writing their adventures again.