My Words Are All Gone!

Everyone thinks that someone who writes for a living always has something to say, but I’m here to tell you: it ain’t so. There are times — and they can be pretty darn inconvenient — when you just have nothing left to say.

For instance, when I finish a book. I write at a fairly consistent rate through most of the book, but the closer I get to the end, the more pages I write. By the time I write the very last page, my words are gone. I’ve used up every single one of them to get that book finished. Seriously. DH and I used to go out to a nice dinner to celebrate the end of a book, but gave it up after we realized that I was sitting there, brain-dead, barely able to eat, and not much fun as a companion. I’d stay that way until at least the next day as far as normal conversation, for a week or two when it came to writing again.

It’s a good kind of brain-dead, though. Finishing a book and knowing that it is finished — that there might be some minor edits but no rewrites, no major revision — is a wonderful thing. And the words always come back . . . though as I get older, I have to work harder to find the right ones. What the heck’s up with that?


5 thoughts on “My Words Are All Gone!

  1. Marilyn!! Don’t tell me you use up all your words… that just scares me.

    When I first started reading this post, all I could think of was the killer case of aphasia that menopause has gifted me with. Seriously, I lose my words before the end of a sentence, forget getting through a book. I can’t speak in conversation without someone cognizant enough to finish my sentences.


    • The good news, Sandee, is that they come back.

      Well, most of them.

      Maybe a little harder to find than they used to be.

      A few years ago, I was breaking out in hives every time I worked in the yard, so my derm doc put me on Zyrtec. Worked great on the hives, but omg, I couldn’t put a coherent sentence together. Words I’d used every day of my life suddenly disappeared, and writing was pure torture. I didn’t connect it to the meds until I read a one-paragraph mention in a magazine of a study of the effects of Zyrtec on school-age kids. They were much slower on math problems and had trouble coming up with the right words. I quit taking it that day, and the next day it was as if someone had turned the lights on.

      Wish menopause fog was as easy to get rid of!!

  2. I thought it was just me, Marilyn. Not that I’ve finished that many books, but after a great writing day, I’d sit and stare.
    Sandee–aphasia–NO DAMN FUN. A month after my hyster, I went to Wal-Mart & lost my car! I had my father with me. He was just as confused as I was. No beep on the remote. WE walked the entire lot!

    • I think it’s emotional, Meg. Seriously, we put so much emotion into our work that by the end of a productive day, we’re drained. I do the same thing after a busy day with people. I know, it sounds weird, but I spend so much time alone or with just the puppers that when I spend an entire day with people, I’m worn out. By evening, I just want to veg in front of the TV.

      LOL about the lost car! I was in my 20s the only time that happened to me, but I have two good excuses: my son and my niece, about 5 and 2 at the time. My siser and I had taken them to the San Diego Zoo, and after hours of wandering around and separating them when they fussed, we decided to hire one of those bicycle ricksha-type things to get us back to our car. Poor college kid pedaled us all over the darn parking lot before we finally found it. We kept apologizing and offering to get out, but he wouldn’t hear of it. He got a very good tip!!

  3. I’m the Queen of Lists. I swear to God, if I don’t make a list, I wouldn’t get anything done…and that includes writing. Too many times I think of a beautiful scene or sentence or something and if I don’t at least list the keywords, I don’t remember when it’s time to write it. How pathetic is that?

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