It’s been a month. More than a month, actually.

What’s terrifying is that, when I forget to write, it’s like a flower wilting. It’s not just forgotten; it becomes desiccated from disuse. It curls up and shrivels and it becomes that much harder to begin again. Like a paralyzed limb succumbing to muscular atrophy.

I have to start moving again.

In little ways, I have. I have been doing snap-shot edits of previously written works. I’ve written long responses to Facebook posts bloated on racism and sexism. I have a small notebook where I write down fleeting thoughts and ideas before they hum past.

But, I keep getting distracted, whether it’s by the cats fighting or the television being on or my family being home. Three days will pass before I’ve noticed that I haven’t written a single thing and something cold slithers into my stomach – it feels like disappointment. And, I wonder whether this is the stagnation I’ve long feared, the leveling out of life that looks an awful lot like nights of NCIS and days of “work was fine.” Years could pass this way, a haze lingering through the dissipation of motivation, the breakdown of creativity.

The only way to stop slowing down is to speed back up again.


Published by Ren Martinez

Ren is a thirty-something Lost Boy whose personal aesthetic is “suspected of witchcraft by local villagers.” She subscribes to cheerful nihilism, the destruction of the patriarchy, and the belief that glitter makes everything better. She is a Richmond-based writer and performer who has fiction and non-fiction work found in a variety of publications, such as The Mary Sue, RVA Magazine, The Quotable, and Nostrovia Press. She is currently the fiction editor and a regular contributor at Quail Bell Magazine. She is also the co-host of the podcast, This F***ing Guy! Find out more at or read her dumbass tweets on Twitter @itsrenmartinez

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