Hey, you know what’s easier than writing a short story? Writing a blog post! True. Even if said blog has been filled with virtual cobwebs for the past several years and no one reads it. Even then! Easier.
You know what else is easier than writing a short story that may or may not ever see the light of day? Writing a book! Yes! You heard me. A real-life book that a publisher approached you to write, and even though it’s maybe not the book you ever envisioned writing — BOOM! — there it is. Deadlines, then a year later, a book you can hold in your hand with your name on it. Miraculous! People are asking you to sign books for them at special events just for you! What the what?? Yup. Easy.
Easy compared to baring your partially formed soul through words that somehow have to be strung together to makes sense and evoke emotion and smells and sensations — in other people. Of course they evoke these in me, the writer. But I must somehow work Magic and Witchery and make YOU believe and feel and not say,”No one would ever say that if that happened!”
For me, it is hard. Hard because I’ve never really let myself write uncensored and sucky. And you have to write uncensored and sucky to WRITE ANYTHING WORTHWHILE. Even a freakin’ grocery list.
Speaking of groceries, there are also a lot of other things I could be doing besides writing. Like right now, I could be watching a riveting documentary on PBS about The Roosevelts. I could be snuggling with my husband on the couch talking about my day. (Kidding. Now that is something no one would ever say.) I could be writing a grocery list for tomorrow. Or, I could be scrolling Facebook, feeling more dejected with each post about her losing weight and feeling awesome, her finishing her 5th marathon after her 3rd kid, or her posting pictures of her new book cover. Wait. That’s me.
During the day, this chronic inability to immerse myself in a fictional world doesn’t seem so bad. I have things to do, remember? Kids, lunches, laundry, dentist appointments, oil changes, dinner. But lately, when the sky and the lake turn that amazing deep periwinkle as the sun is extinguished behind the ridge to our west, it breaks my heart.