I’ve known I was a writer since those bad love poem days of jr. high school. Or even further back when I bought my own journal at 12 and started confiding to “Diary” that I had to wear a bra today, and hoped nobody could see it through my shirt. Scandalous topics like bras, periods, and crush after crush were scribbled in the red notebook and shoved between my mattresses.
I still try my best to make the time to pick up the pen when inspiration hits, but these days those muse-laden thoughts are bombarded with other thoughts. What’s my angle? What’s a good market for it? How long is this going to be? When will I have time to finish it? Who can I send it to for edits?
Yesterday, I was having a rough afternoon and wrote to get out of it.
As I got on the bus to come home, I was fried. Had been fried for a while, at least a few hours. Except for a work related happy hour Monday night, I’d been in front of the computer at work and at home, nearly non stop since Sunday. Just a few days, but heaps more focused attention than I’m used to. The juggle between making sales calls for World Travel Watch, pitching Sand events, finishing up on TT work, researching content for Written Road the web site, and designing web sites for bearing engineers is exhausting. Needlesstosay, I didn’t want to write once I got home, even if it was on my list.
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But as I sat there sulking on the bus, “Get out of my way, I’m grouchy today!” I remembered what makes me feel good. Writing. I always feel better after I write. I’d had a story burning since the night before so I changed my attitude, got out my notebook, and started the scribble and cross with delightful speed. Not wanting to stop once I’d arrived at the bus station, and knowing full well it wouldn’t continue if I went straight home, I went to the new library.
And it was great. After a tour of the brand new downtown facilities, I stretched out along a pillow-seated bench by a window and kept going. I stopped while the ideas were still flowing so that I’d have something to come back to, and went home once I was feeling better. Pleased all the way around, I walked home with the budding desire to make 5:30, “my time to write.”
Do you write for the byline, to build your career, or because “I just have to!” Maybe it’s a little of all and then some. It is for me.