I’ve been away for a while and my reason or better yet my excuse for going away was that I needed the time to get back to writing. Yet my focus remained foggy and redirected to other areas. I guess that’s fine. Sometimes, life gets in the way of things and people can’t just sit around and write all day and forget about every aspect of their lives. It would be nice if things just sorted themselves out so that I could while the hours away daydreaming all sorts of adventures. But after a while, the laundry piles up, the dishes need washing and the dust bunnies are larger than my cats. Then there are the other aspects of life, like the relationships that we have with our family and friends. How the dynamics of these relationships will not survive nay tolerate neglect. And even though I took that time off for myself to focus on the whole “I’m a writer” bit, it didn’t actually happen. Not the way I had envisioned it would, anyway.
I worked on a book review for the book I finished reading called Become by Ali Cross. It took me forever to get it done and I sweated and struggled through every bit of it. I’ve never done a book review before. How could I call myself a writer if I can’t write a book review, right? After all, writing a book review is writing, isn’t it? Eventually, I finished it and that is the product of my time off. Can you believe it? One page - just one page of writing in over a month. But the real secret is that it didn’t take me a month to write it. For the first two weeks off, I did nothing!
I’m amazed at other writers who manage to amass 1-2,000 words a day. When I try to write keeping track of my word count, I freeze up. The word meter plummets instead of rising. I’m weird; the way I write is strange I guess. Usually inspiration hits me and sometimes it actually feels physical. It’s like a left hook that leaves me reeling and other times it’s an almost electric nervous energy that courses through me. Each time and regardless of the symptoms I must get the story out. I type and type heeding nothing else - not food, drink, or household chores and often don’t stop until I’m about to collapse from sleep exhaustion. If, I don’t let this happen; if I restrain myself from letting the story, chapter, scene whatever it is out – it dies. I lose it never to regain it no matter how hard I try. And let's not talk about plotting; that's like pulling teeth. It's either painful or it puts me to sleep because there's nothing happening in the gray matter.
So I began to believe that I must be a writer because normal people don’t go through this. Do they? Yet at the same time, I think that no, I couldn’t be a writer because the compulsion to write everything down doesn’t touch me. I detest journal writing – could never write my personal feelings down – ever. What if someone were to read them? I don’t write about what happened on my vacation, not like I’ve had one but you get the idea. I make lists but that’s different. I relate that more to a sense of organization. If I don’t make a list, I won’t remember everything I need to get from the store. It’s as simple as that.
Well, I don’t know what I am but I hope someday to finish the novel I’m working on. Maybe then, I can say I’m a writer and all this nonsense about what I am and what I’m not won’t matter.