Since the holidays, I have been trying to structure my time better: setting internet-free periods, coming up with writing/editing minimums to hit each day . . . and I plunged into one of those periods when everything I write is utter sh*t. When nothing seems to sound right; when everything I’m revising feels stale; when all the good things I’ve written before feel like something from another age and I will never, ever write that well again.
That kind of thing.
I have been here before, but not with such clarity, as I’d always had the day job distracting me by being capital-S Sh*t as opposed to the little-s sh*t of a bad writing stretch. But now I have lots of time to wallow in just how much I suck. It’s magic, it is.
Be careful what you wish for, eh?
I am working again, doing some copywriting, and for once it’s a blessed relief to write reviews of stethoscopes (never let anyone tell you writing isn’t glamorous!) instead of just staring at my own stale words.
I also developed a nasty cold right after the holidays, and I haven’t been able to completely shake it. So I made bone broth, from an old recipe given to me by a woman who was kind to me once.
Making bone broth is a long, slow process. First you soak the bones in vinegar and water to start drawing out the minerals.
Then you simmer it all for hours. 12 hours, 15 hours, 18 hours, up to 24 if you can swing it.
At the very end, in the last 10 minutes, just a blink of the eye compared to the cooking that has come before—at the very end you plunge a mess of parsley into the broth. This, she told me, ionizes the minerals and makes them easier to consume.
I generally stay away from animal products, but I break out the bone broth recipe when I need it, and when at last the whole thing is cooked and ionized and strained . . . it is magic. All the work beforehand vanishes with that first deep swallow and that feeling of good radiating from your belly into the furthermost extremities of your body.
Each time the process feels a little different, and the flavor changes slightly, but it all feels right, and each time I make the recipe I trust it to work as it always has.