I’ve been away. I’ve done a little bit of writing for myself, the well-it’s-cheaper-than-therapy kind of writing and more often the cop-out talking-to-great-friends-is-easier-than-writing-AND-cheaper-than-therapy. Sometimes it feels like my mind is on another planet or in an old house like mine that might as well be on another planet because the cell reception is so bad. What I mean is that often I don’t know what I’m thinking until I see it on the page. I push and pull and try to shoulder my way in to the spot where the important ideas are distilled, but it doesn’t work. I’m locked out.
Then I roll my eyes and have a seat (after work is done and the kids are in bed and only if I have more than 5% computer battery left or actually know where my power cord is). I have a seat and turn the computer on and climb over the mountain of distractions that are seven hundred open browser tabs and the timesuck that is Facebook and open up Word and stare down the white screen. Then and only then does that door open, and my thoughts saunter out, aloof and casual, like a toddler who locked himself in the bathroom for an hour and then opens the door like nothing just happened. Seriously.
When people ask me what I’ve been writing I appreciate the assumption that we both think it’s something I do well enough that I must do it often. The truth is that it’s more complicated than that. It’s the things that matter most that we’re (I’m!) most freaked out about failing at. So hearing that others think I write well only makes that worse sometimes. As an impossibly busy single mom, at times I still find the courage and energy to break out of my hustling-to-make-bills-and-love-my-kids-the-best-I-can routine and challenge myself (beyond what it takes to hustle to make bills and love my kids the best I can, which already takes a whole lot) to do things like the Listen to Your Mother performance and getting some writing published out there. But taking the time to write because it’s good for me and I’m good for it and I’ll only get better by actually doing it seems like a luxury most of the time. What good is a room of one’s own when our house is burning down around it?
I’ve committed myself (ha!) to participating in NaBloPoMo (National Blog Posting Month) – that is, writing once a day for the whole month of November! – because it’s time for me to take the energy I expend on thinking about writing and feeling bad for not writing and feeling envious of people who are writing and spend that energy on, you know, writing. Here goes.