It is no secret to anyone who knows me that I write stories. In those moments when I have felt particularly hopeful and productive, I have even characterized myself as a writer. But that is not how I usually feel. Oh, I still write stories. I am just not always all puffed up about it.
It feels whiny and self-indulgent to complain about how difficult writing is. Even if that is the truth for me. Writing is hard work. My words don’t flow freely. The process is slow moving, tedious and often unsatisfying. For someone with a short attention span, this isn't ideal.
Over and over, I have asked myself why I don’t just give up. In every other case, I would have. I convince myself that I’m not really into this anymore. That it is ok to move on. That most people cannot write a good story, let alone get published. And sometimes, for a period of time, I do give it up. I fill my free time binge watching downloaded shows, socializing, purging closets, planning getaways, baking, knitting, playing guitar really badly and napping. I still have my journal, I remind myself. I still write, sort of.
Eventually, an itty bitty plot bunny starts nibbling away in the back garden of my subconscious. It tickles at first. I swat it away. There’s a new episode of Scandal to watch. I promised my neighbour I’d bake something special for dessert on Saturday. Then the tickle becomes a more persistent itch, like a mosquito bite I must scratch. Soon I write the idea in my notebook. I’m saving it for later, I think. But once I pick up that notebook, I know I’m done. The keyboard is never far behind. There is nothing else that I feel so guilty about leaving and so relieved to return to. Writing is the lover I can’t get over. We break up, we get back together. It’s just what we do. And when we first reunite, it’s intoxicating. I vow that this time it’ll be different. I’m committed and in this for the long haul. I promise to visit every day. That absence left too big a hole, after all. I sit down at my desk. I find a few words and begin, again. And though I know deep down that what I’m writing is shit, I keep typing.
Today, I’m still episodes behind. I've no clue what Olivia Pope is up to. The scarf I started knitting before Christmas remains unfinished. I brought store bought brownies to the last pot luck. The fervour is waning but I am still elbow deep in crap; and for now, at least, happy as a pig in shit.