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I Hate This Brain Fog (and Writer's Block in general)

I've been working on the same story since 2016. Technically, it isn't the same story anymore. The modern version is far different from the original iteration. However, looking at my progress truly makes me feel proud, especially when comparing it to my very first story, which I published on the Lego Message Boards back in 2013.

What makes me much less prouder is the fact that, even though I've been working on this project since 2016, I haven't written more than 30 pages in that entire time.

I have had life long difficulties with brain fog. It is hard for me to concentrate at certain points in the day, and it is an issue that has gotten worse as the years have been going on. Before you ask, I am 20, not 75. I can no longer play video games for longer than 30 minutes. I can't read a book beyond five pages a day. I need to chop up movies into 45 minute chunks, regardless of the length. I can't hold a conversation without me instantly losing my train of thought and derailing any socialization. It's a miracle I've been able to be in a relationship for 2+ years. Even right now, I'm not even paying a whole lot of attention to this blog post. I'm flipping through five extra tabs (Know Your Meme, Reddit, Element, Youtube, Discord) just because I'm so bored already and I can't focus on getting this out.

What makes this worse for me, however, is my relationship with writing. For as long as I can remember I loved coming up with stories, whether they were comics, short films, terrible scripts on the Lego Message Boards. Whatever they were, I loved making them. That creative process carries through to today, where not a second goes by without me wondering about the religious systems of my world of Eaia, or how the leads of my story come together and start their shared journey. It even got to the point where I commissioned one of my very best friends, Brianna, to do art of my leads. But despite that, I have struggled very hard to actually write anything. I wrote a 20+ page outline of the 2016-17 iteration, and then I just brainstormed concepts every year since. I genuinely couldn't bring myself to put a single word of my story down on paper outside of outlines and character sheets, which I would promptly scrap. It wasn't until a month ago that I actually, finally, bought a notebook and pen so I could start drafting out my book. Which would be great, if I had a plan. Which I didn't, because the brain fog wouldn't let me. So I wrote 21 pages of a rough draft, and didn't even get to Chapter 2 before scrapping it yet again.

It's just so unbelievably irritating, and honestly depressing. Brandon Sanderson and Stephen King are two of the most prolific and respected authors of the 21st century, and they spend all their time writing and cranking out books. Sanderson alone wrote seven in the height of the pandemic, didn't he? Writing is free. I only have an on-call job, I live at home, my relationships are steady and healthy. I have no excuse to not spend every second of my day writing upwards of 3,500+ words or more. But I don't, because of that damned brain fog that keeps me from being able to enjoy what I feel like I've been born to do. I don't even want money or recognition at this point anymore. I just want to finally get something done.

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