Children are a gift from the Lord; the fruit of the womb, a reward. Like arrows in the hand of a warrior are the children born in one's youth. Blessed are they whose quivers are full. They will never be shamed contending with foes at the gate. ~Psalm 127:3-5

Thursday, June 23, 2011

On Writing

The past few days have been very odd for me. I have had trouble sleeping for like three weeks now and my brain has been very fuzzy, but all of the sudden- even though I had horrible trouble getting out of bed- on Tuesday morning I grabbed my laptop and started a story. A fiction story. I wrote all day. Somehow, I'm not exactly sure, the kids were pretty compliant with my neglecting them. I mean, I didn't neglect them completely. I fed them, made sure they were clean and dressed and all of that. I took a few breaks to interact with them minimally- "Yes, you can watch a movie." "No, you can't go outside right now; it's too hot." But that was it. No chasing after them through the house, no reading any stories. At least the first day. I wrote 5,000 words by the end of day one. As I read them to my husband in bed that night, he asked, "and then what happens?"

Ahhh, the perfect words that every writer wants to hear. "What happens next?" I was elated. He seemed excited to hear what would take place in the coming pages and not only that, but he didn't seem bored while listening. And, no offense to him, but he's not exactly the type who would know that's what I want/need to hear so I took that as a good sign.

The next morning- yesterday- I woke up again with the need to write. So I continued writing. Another day sort of neglecting my mommy duties. But I did manage to get some laundry done at some point and straighten up the house, not to mention move furniture around in the living room. I think I called it quits for a little while around 4 to do so. I did read some stories to the kids somewhere in there but really, the whole day is much of a blur as I immersed myself in the fiction story I am writing. Fiction. Me. Writing fiction.

I'm sorry, I just have to laugh at myself for a second. It's really not like me to write fiction. The last time I wrote fiction was when I was like 8. I used to write cute/stupid stories about horses and all kinds of fun things. But somehow I got away from that...I think in my teen years, when I became that melancholy person who filled journal after journal with my sad poetry and suicidal thoughts, something clicked over to reality and I was unable to write anything that might inspire a smile or laugh from anyone, including myself.

So here I am, writing fiction. I have no idea if it's good. I'm pretty hard on myself so I'll just take the plunge here and say it's probably garbage. But at least hubby likes it.

Today I haven't written yet. I powered down my laptop last night around 11 with 18,347 words staring at me from the screen. I can't believe it really, but again it could all just be garbage. The thing is, I feel so differently than I have in a very long time. Like it was all just sitting there waiting to come out. And whether it's good or bad, it doesn't really matter much to me because I just needed to get it out. It makes me feel like I have been neglecting a certain aspect of my personality for too long- my creative side. I write on this blog sometimes and I had been working on a nonfiction piece for awhile but those aren't the same as this.

The only similarity is that I do just kind of spill it out, my hands flying over the keyboard without my thinking too terribly much. The little child inside every writer- which Anne Lamott writes about in Bird by Bird- is hard at work in there. She's handing me things I don't even have time to look at before they're already on the page. Pretty soon I'm staring at 18,000 words of hopefulness. Hopefulness because I have no idea what these words mean for me. They could sit in my laptop for a hundred years and never grace the shelves of the literary world in the form of a published book. I could peck at them for the next 10 years, twisting them and erasing much and shaping what's left into what I think sounds best, the way I did with my nonfiction work. But whatever happens, it matters not because I'm writing. And writing does something to me I've never been able to really understand. It's who I am and I guess in a way I finally feel secure in it.

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