March 21, 2023 – 6:38 pm
Last night, at about eight, I had showered, put on PJs and was standing at the top of the staircase. I looked down the hallway toward the L room. I felt a pull to go there. Here, where I am this morning. So that I could write. There was a slight moment of inspiration. The urge. But it was eight. I got lazy. Rather than spend an hour writing—maybe two—I sat on the recliner and watched Saved by the Barn with my wife and kid. Heartwarming show, and it was good to be there with them, coming down from the day, but this morning I’m packed full of whatever it is that creeps in when I don’t write. The type of feeling that makes me mad at the traffic passing by. Silliness, I know. And it’s a punishment, no doubt—this dip in happiness and rise in anxiety—because I’m not doing what I’m supposed to.
I don’t have to publish and earn a living by writing. In fact, I like writing whatever I want whenever I want. But when you don’t rely on an activity, when it isn’t a necessity, that activity can easily be set aside. I know how important it is that I write. That I do it regularly. I’ve had this conversation with myself for years. If I stop equating writing to success and success to writing—if I stop seeing writing as something to show and share rather than something to do and feel—then I will be my best, create the most engaging content, and be happiest.
Writing helps my reasoning. It’s a way to filter out the awfulness. The garbage. It’s also a way to bring to the surface all the beauty that goes unnoticed. Not all of it. Strike that. But beauty, anyway. Little bits and large, sweeping scenes. But I prefer the little bits. Snippets. Letters, lines, paragraphs, short stories. I don’t know that I will write a novel because I don’t have the patience. The only way I can do it is by telling several short stories within the larger story. I’ve been trying that with DEVOTION for years now, but it’s slow going. I’ve got myself stretched in so many directions that the book has taken a backseat. By choice. I’ll pick away at it. Come to it when I feel I should be in it. Otherwise, it is forced. Phony. Work.
Speaking of…it’s nearly seven. I’m already feeling late and behind, so I best be rolling on out into that morning traffic with everyone else that chooses to do something other than what they are meant to do. At least for now.