“For a writer, life consists of either writing or thinking about writing.” -Eugene Ionseco
I have decided, in my infinite wisdom and spare time between mothering, wifery, teaching, and studenting, to start writing my first novel. Wait, no. That is not accurate. Anyone who writes knows that this is not our decision. It is someone else’s entirely. In my case, Sarah and Charlotte. I blame those two knuckleheaded teenagers who just couldn’t wait to bust out of my head and onto paper. Their stories have already taken me on some whirlwinds. In the earlier days of the project, Sarah came to me as I was falling asleep, and she showed me that I was writing her story improperly. She showed me something I had not even considered, but I have to go with it. So I rewrote parts, and I am off and running. I have gotten some amazing feedback from some clutch readers, and I am itching to sit with it and use their suggestions to fix it and continue forth. Writing is so goddamned fun; it should be illegal.
I know I talk a lot about writing on here, but I think it’s because it is such an important thing in my life. It saved my life. It helped me create friends in school when I had very few. It helped me create ways to cope with devastating loss. There has not been an event in my life, good or bad, that I did not deal with without writing. Not one. Writing is who I am, what I do, and why I am here. It is all for the writing. I am truly a slave to it most of the time, even when I am not actively writing something. Ideas and characters don’t just go away because I don’t have time to let them out. They sit there and play, stirring up a ruckus, loudly, in my brain. They don’t care. They just exist to give me something to write about. I have a list of blog topics to eventually get to in my phone’s evernotes because if I don’t write them down, new ideas take over. I often forget to eat and drink if I am writing. I forget to go to the bathroom, and I end up feeling like a total slog. But I LOVE the slog. Writing is it, my friends. It. Is. It.
Except, writing is kind of killing my drive to do anything BUT write. I can’t lie, I have more motivation to write than to do most anything else. I can see why people take sabbaticals from teaching and working when they are writing. The energy isn’t there to do both well. I am trying, and I am doing ok, but I really feel like this is what will become my first published novel, and I know that when that time comes to buckle down on things more seriously, it will be hard to be able to focus on teaching, family, and writing. But I am pretty damn good at multitasking. So we will see when time comes. I am balancing always, now, aren’t I?
I was told today at my family reunion (totally unprovoked and not expected at all) that I am a phenomenal, awesome, amazing (more positive adjectives that I forget) writer. I was also told I have a way with words, and I will no doubt be published. When I replied that I would say that I work hard at it, but I’d be lying because the words just come out of me, I was told that it is obvious in my writing that it is natural and without a lot of effort. I’m “just that good”. There was a lot of praise coming from my cousin, and I was really struck by the sincerity and impressed that someone takes an interest in my writing. It is humbling to hear praise from anyone about what I do, but to hear it so candidly and open like I did today was really something I will never forget. I didn’t expect to hear that, but I am glad that I did. I’ve never doubted my ability to throw down with words. But it is good that people close to me read this little piece of my Universe and feel the need to tell me, in person, that they appreciate my work.
All I have ever wanted to be, for as long as I can remember, is a writer. It is the one thing I have consistently done well my entire life. From term papers to poetry, grant writing to creative nonfiction, I do all of it with relative ease. Writing is the one high I have always had, has always been my number one best friend, and will continue to be the one thing in my life I can count on more than anything. I am so excited to see where my novel project takes me. In many ways, it has taken over..and I can’t wait to see where it leads me!!
Without writing, I wouldn’t exist.