I’m not sure if I want to write anymore. I feel trapped by it. Chained to the same desk and the same screen, day in and day out, grinding out words. Desperately trying not to bounce off the walls after sitting on my ass for 10 to 12 to Lord-knows-because-I’m-on-deadline hours. Bristling when I have to go out in public and be around people because I’m forgetting how to people.
I want it to stop.
As a professional writer, I’m not supposed to say that. As a creative, I’m really not supposed to say that. But I am. I’m gleefully mashing it out on my keyboard as I wait for my pasta to cook.
Writing is a perverse thing. It’s something everyone thinks they can do until they convince themselves that they can’t. A few people convince themselves to stick to it, mostly because they feel compelled to do it. They need it, for one reason or another. The words won’t stop. So, for those few who continue writing, they have to fight for it. Because it is hard and isolating and painful. Writers have to find ways to love writing through all of the struggle it throws at them.
Those ideas aren’t revolutionary. I’m certainly not breaking new ground by putting them in a blog. What I am doing, trying, is being honest about my journey as a professional writer. I started this blog because I wanted an outlet for ideas I couldn’t put anywhere else. That let me pull back the curtain on the realities of being a working writer and creative. Right now, I am having a very hard time writing. I don’t want to write anymore. I wake up later than I should, I put off writing for longer than I should, and I write later into the night than I should. Because the act of sitting in a chair and doing the thing that I love — that I cannot stop doing because the words will not stop — is too hard, too terrifying, too big for me to keep doing. It is eating me alive. I want the world to stop for a minute so I can catch a breath. I want the need for the writing to stop. I want to be free of my brain.
But I can’t. And it won’t. Because that’s the way it is.
I am far from the only writer who’s had this struggle. I’m far from the only writer who ever will. I want to acknowledge it because it’s part of the final product. It’s part of the machinery, grinding away in the background while thoughts become words and story.
And now, as I sit here with my pasta drained and congealing, I realize I am happy to spend the rest of my life like this. Arguing and wrestling with the words on a page like an old married couple. Forgetting that I’ve plated my dinner and have not eaten for 8 hours and just came back from a workout and SHOULD BE EATING FOOD RIGHT NOW. But no. I’m writing. Because why the hell not? The words are coming. This is easy.
This is what I’m supposed to do.
Writing: I hate you. And I need you. And you know that.
I love you.
And now my pasta’s cold.