Writing no matter what

I wish, no matter what, I could write for hours, no matter what, every day, no matter what. I know this to be near impossible for me.

For more years than I will think about I’ve hoped for that moment when I could get myself to sit down and write for hours at a time, every single day. I’ve read about writers who can tuck themselves away in their writing space, and pen away or tap keys for hours on a daily basis.  I keep wondering, what am I doing wrong? Or, am I a fraud as a writer? A fake of some kind? Something like that.

As true as it is that I’m not able to write for hours at a time with any kind of consistency, it’s equally true that I’d likely be a dead man if I did not write at all. It is near fact to say, I wouldn’t know how to function. It’s also stone-cold fact to say that in my darkest moments, writing and books have prevented my suicide.

I often write because I want to, I always write because I have too.

The page is your world

This may be the most efficient way of writing. Simply put words on a page, and have done with it. This is your page. These are your words. Here, of all places, you need answer to not a soul, living or dead. This is a statement of fact, friend. This, the page, is your world. Doesn’t matter whether others read this or not. I know ache fills you at this. It’s only life, each sentence, word, one movement closer to the end.  

One writer’s internal dialogue

  • It’s time to do some writing.
  • Fuck me.
  • I’m serious.
  • I can tell.
  • You just –
  • One word down, then another –
  • And another, exactly.
  • You know what gets me?
  • What?
  • It sounds so easy. Just sit down, or stand, whatever works, and then just start writing anything. Just set words down and pay attention and the words will just come of their own accord.
  • That’s not so easy.
  • What – ?
  • “Words will just come of their own accord.” That’s an act of faith on your part. Faith that if you begin the words will follow. The weight’s on you to begin, then it’s pretty much stay the hell out of the way. It can’t be the same experience each time you write, is it?
  • Now that you mention it, no.

In All Emotional Weather

It is beyond hard to write the book sometimes. It is as if the pages are on another planet and I am here. The distance between me and the act of writing can feel like a lifetime. Is it the subject matter? The fact it is a memoir and as such brings me face to face with things that are not always easy to face? All of the above? Perhaps.

The thing with writing is to do it in all emotional weather. If you have to walk to the store to get food, you will ultimately walk in any weather. Hunger is a harsh master. It is, I think, the same with writing. If you write, you write daily, in all weather. If you are waiting for those sunny days, those polished with color and light fall days, you won’t get much writing done.

I think too that writing is like breathing. For writers anyway. You have to do it. If the weather is bitter cold you may wrap a scarf around your face to warm the biting air, but you still breath. And so, maybe, when the emotions are cold and distant, scary, you bring a nice cup of tea to your worktable and begin the day’s work.

I am not so far from the end of this book, this memoir. And seeing the end approach saddens me. This morning I woke up in deep sadness, missing so many who have left the world, my family. Knowing I need to get to this worktable and have at it. Knowing that when this book is done I will in some way be saying goodbye again.

I am not looking forward to that. But I will keep breathing.