I keep telling myself I am a writer, but what do I write? For almost two years, I spent a lot of timing writing for graduate coursework. I completed a Masters of Science in Technical Communication in August 2013 and walked a month later. Two days after graduation, my husband and I carted our three cats from Boston to New York in a Dodge Caravan to live in an apartment upstairs from my elderly parents. Between recovering from exhaustion, getting settled in, and finding a myriad ways to waste time, I have written nada. Nil. Niente. Zip. Zero.
Before this post, I last wrote in June 2012 when I finished my last creative writing course at Berklee College of Music online. Getting discounted classes was a fantastic benefit that I used when I used to work at Berklee. Going to graduate school killed every last minute of writing time I had. When I was free, the last thing I wanted to do was write anything. Even now, my eyes are bleary from today’s online work: creating task lists, ordering jewelry supplies and vitamins, reading endlessly on the news on CNN, Fox, Slate, HuffPo, and Facebook. I do not want to write after I have stared at a screen all day.
I say I want to be creative. However, I do not spend any time doing the creative things that sound interesting to me. Instead, I bury myself in piles of stuff that need to be read, processed, filed, shredded, unpacked, integrated into the house, packed back into boxes for returns, laundry, shopping, cleaning the cat litter, ooh look my desk needs to be cleaned…
In 2014, my primary goal is to breathe. If I feel anxiety, I will breathe, relax my belly, and then go forward anyway. I will release the tensions I feel inside that keep me rooted to the spot like some interminable tug-of-war. A war within myself and of myself that was created to keep me from moving forward. What if I write shit and no one likes it? I want to make a living writing. If I write nothing, what has been made? Nothing. Not even lead dust, nor ink spots, nor fading pixels. In order to be a writer, I must write.
So I put up a little reminder that stares me in the face to remind myself to do what it is I say I want:
And so I return to this blog. What will I write? I do not know. But what I do know is that, like Philip Pullman, I know my ideas will come if I sit down. And write.