Free Write: The Bittersweet

It’s easier to do a lot of things than write.

It’s easier to do the laundry and eat dinner.  It’s easier to text with a friend or get lost in a book.  It’s even easier to go for a hot, sweaty run.  My kids are peeking over my shoulder and wondering what I’m doing.  It’s disconcerting that I am not paying attention to them.  It’s easier to pay attention to them.  They tend not to critique.  Even though they are living reflections of my values, my heart and my soul, raising them does not feel as scary as writing.

Maybe I waited too long.

Maybe I’m too old to start this writing thing.  I don’t have a journalism degree.  I’m a marginal speller.  It seems to me that the last thing this world needs is another fucking writer.  There are already plenty of us after all.  We’re everywhere:  in blogs, books, on back porches, in the library late at night.  We suck the honey from the bee.  And we do it everywhere. Maybe we are worried people will tell us to shut up.  But we can’t help it.  It’s in us.  When we don’t do it, we think about it.  When we do write, we obsess about it.  It never seems good enough.  But it has to happen.

When I was pregnant, I had a dream that I wasn’t pregnant anymore.  At first, I felt relieved.  No more nausea!  No more worry that I won’t be a good mom!  No more back pain!  Now I don’t have to go through labor!  And then…panic.  Wait, I want it back.  I need it.   I can do it.  I have no choice.  This is who I am.  This is what I was meant to do.

It’s the same with writing, really.  Sometimes I think, no more.  No more checking my email the day after a post to see if anyone liked it.  No more crossing my arms tightly over my belly as someone reads my work.  I can just do yoga or something.  And then…panic.  Wait, I need it.  I can do it.  I have no choice.  This is who I am.  This is what I was meant to do.

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