There are times when my mind functions well. I feel calm and organized. Other times? Not so much. Such has been the case the last couple of months. My mind has lacked focus. I've been working on my next novel on Mao Tse-tung and the Cultural Revolution, and have had to force myself to focus on researching and writing. Historical tidbits are the life blood of a historical novel and normally I have the discipline to endure the hours of reading, outlining, and refining necessary to get the historical events into the story. This time it's been tough. I think part of the problem was the subject matter. Mao was a despicable person and his reign from 1949-1976 was one of suffering and sorrow for the people of China. I became mentally and emotionally exhausted.
I think the other (and more poignant) reason for lack of focus was the personal grief I was experiencing as the first anniversary of our son's death drew near. We had been told by others who had lost children that the first anniversary was difficult. Without question. As we went through March and April and into May I felt my mind wandering and my heart sorrowing. I didn't want to deal with the everyday demands of life (laundry, grocery shopping, cooking) let alone writing a book, or fostering friendships. It was a tough time.
I'm better now. My hubby, daughter, and myself have a deep love for each other. We also have good friends that rallied around us, and a strong faith in God. With all this, we survived the horrendous time.
I also learned to be gentle with myself. There are going to be times when, for one reason or another, I'm not going to be able to be focused, and it's okay. Sometimes forcing focus in one direction keeps us from seeing a new vista.