I like to write.
It’s interesting to me to discover what leaves my pen and comes out onto the paper. I’m often taken by surprise and ask myself often “Do I really think that?” Sometimes the answer is yes, sometimes no. More often than not I begin a story with absolutely no idea how it will end. There’s just a vague idea in the back of my head and a deep feeling in my heart that find companionship on the paper and in the words upon it. My heart is able to make sense of my memories and my thoughts are able to find reasons for my feelings. Writing is a gentle friendship between the two.
I also hate to write.
It can be an incredibly painful process. It is a reaching, digging, mining effort into my own soul which can at times leave me hollowed out and exhausted. It is not easy to write. It gives me a headache. It makes me cry. It lays bare before myself and anyone who reads what I’ve written everything that I am, have been, and what I hope I can be. It is also the memories, both agonizing and joyful, of all the characters who cross my page. It is not only myself laid bare, but the individuals whose stories I tell. They too are laid naked before the eyes of myself and my audience and it is up to me to tell their tale truly, deftly, and with compassion.
I avoid writing…even when it is the only thing I want to do.
I don’t understand this. It’s perverse. It makes no sense to me, but it is true nonetheless. I will find just about any reason on earth to avoid it and still long for it. Laundry. Weeding. Cooking. Milking. A trip to the dentist. I think the only reason I finished my first book was because my husband William sent me to the coast, where I couldn’t be distracted, and I felt duty bound to make the most of the expense. I think it’s because it scares me.
I am afraid of writing.
Afraid because it pushes me to change, to let go of who I have been in the attempt to become who I want to be. Afraid because what if I make the attempt and I fall short? What if my desire to become something more lands me square in the middle of mediocrity? Which of course leads me to question “Where will I be if I never attempt to change?” Square in the middle of mediocrity would be the best answer.
So I write.
Because if I don’t I stagnate. And if I do write…well the journey lies before me and the best I can do is begin it and see where it takes me.