Writing should be easy. It is, at its core, just getting thoughts and feelings from your mind and heart onto a piece of paper. That’s it, right? WRONG, sucka! So. Very. Wrong.
I love to write. I love to write with a pen and paper (especially pretty pens and pretty paper). I like (not love) typing my thoughts out on this here ‘puter. But why isn’t it easier for me? Why do I not just sit my arse down and write? I’ve bought books and I’ve listened to podcasts (all while I COULD HAVE JUST BEEN WRITING) and I know at the end of the day, the consensus will remain. If you want to write (or do anything you love, for that matter), you have to JUST WRITE. There isn’t a secret sauce. I have to just do it.
So why is it so hard? I love words. I love putting them together and making them into a picture that matches the one in my head. :::BUNNY TRAIL::: Yes, somehow, I see words in sort of a picture frame. I have never really been able to explain it to people when they’ve asked about my “process.” Even some of the teachers I’ve had from second or third grade on have looked at me with some confusion when I’ve tried to explain it. It’s weird I guess. But it’s what I’m working with, y’all:::END BUNNY TRAIL::: I love the act of reading and fixing and rereading and refixing them (I know that’s not a word. I made it up). So why is it so difficult for me to just sit and write? I’ll tell you why, at least in my case. DISTRACTION. Plain and simple, I am easily distracted and it gets worse every year, not because I’m getting older; but because more and more and more “stuff” is at my fingertips every single day. Phones, Netflix, Roku, Kindle, iPad, Facebook, blah blah blah blah blah. It’s a rabbit hole.
Here’s what it boils down to: I am not a disciplined person. An author whom I respect very much told me this last week when I sent her a message about wanting to write a book: “People like us, word people or art people, do not do well just sitting still in most cases. We love the peripheral crap. We love the pieces on the outside of the puzzle we’re doing even though we’re working on the frame. We cannot just do one thing. But guess what? We gotta do the one thing if we want our words to reach anyone else.” And holy moly, is this true for me. I thought about the way I write or do a puzzle or sit and do ANYTHING for Pete’s sake and she’s right. The distraction factor is real. I can’t even sit here and blog without checking my phone 499,465,243 times. (In my defense, it’s my birthday, so the thing is going crazy because I have wonderful people in my life, but I digress.) I’m dying right now to turn on Roku and binge watch something on Netflix (The Walking Dead, anyone?). My foot is literally making my chair shake as I sit at a pub table and write this because just sitting and doing the ONE thing is so stinking hard for me, even though I love that one thing.
But I’m going to do it. Not because I think my story is mo betta than anyone else’s story, not because I think my writing is better than the next chick’s, but because I am learning every year, especially on my birthday because I’m famous for taking inventory on this day, that if I don’t tell my story, nobody will. If I don’t help someone know they are “normal” (which they AREN’T!), who will? If I don’t help one “Supermom” (like, the real ones, the ones who selflessly go through life and demand ZERO attention…not the social media ones) take a breath and shed a tear and lighten up on herself, who will? If I can’t make one person feel a little less crappy about herself because she just can’t cook and her husband has to feed their brood, who will?
Here’s my plan: I will write. My idea (oh, Lord, now she has an idea) is to write a memoir. Not a memoir like “I was born here and here is chronologically what has happened in my life,” but a collection of funny and sad and wonderful and awful things that have happened in my life. But as I start to “just write,” I will be looking for either a workshop around me (and by “around” I mean within like 3 hours) or a class at a local juco or community center or something. Have I worked out all the details yet? Ummm…no. But here’s the deal, y’all. Here’s what I have worked out.
My heart and my mind both know that I was created to communicate. I love to read, I love to write, and I love to talk (shocker!) and I appreciate when people who also love to read, write, and talk and who are far more educated and gifted than I in those areas share those gifts with others (namely me). I know the road will be bumpy and I have to figure out how to organize my life so I can dedicate time to this venture, but I also know that this is important enough. It’s big enough. And it’s part of who I am supposed to be.
So join me. Join me as I figure this whole thing out. Join me as I muddle my way through this idea as I turn it into a reality. Give me your ideas, your criticisms, your thoughts, your well wishes, your encouragement (especially your encouragement). Join me as I just write.