My body aches when I don’t write. My shoulders tense up. My hands grasp at the words they want to put down. My stomach feels the pressure of the ideas that need to get out but cannot. My heart hurts with words unspoken, a longing for expression, a desire for release. My brain doesn’t stop spinning the ideas, plates balanced on sticks that continuously reduce centimeter by centimeter, concepts on the verge of destruction through lack of attention, through lack of time.
I long for time alone. A place for my stories and I to get to know each other. A place where there is no seven-year old saying, “Mom. Mom. Mom.” A place where the only things that draw on my energy are my words, the words that so desperately want to get out and tell their stories. A place to dress up words, to dance with sentences, to pull back the curtain and begin blocking the show. A place where I can be alone. Alone.
What I need is so elusive. I can’t seem to find it. I don’t even know where to look.
Then I wonder if I am just making excuses, if I’m not really a writer. After all, if I wanted to do it, I would make it happen. Reading about what a “real” writer does makes me feel like a fraud. The solutions seem so simple. Just set aside some time every day and write, no matter what. Set up a writing sanctuary where you can be alone with your thoughts. If you are a true writer, you won’t be able to not write. Instead of wasting time, you should be writing. You should be writing. You. Should. Be. Writing.
It really isn’t that simple. Things are so busy, I have to choose between writing and family. Writing and teaching. Writing and sleeping. I know where my priorities have to be right now. I am responsible for my sweet daughter. I am responsible for keeping up my end of my marriage. I am responsible for helping 170 teenagers to become critical thinking members of society. I am responsible for my own health and need for slumber. You’d think that would be enough for my brain to handle.
Yet the desire to write, the ravenous need to put words to paper, overrides all reason. I tremble with pent up inspiration, my words whirling, colliding together, trying to break through. I wonder if it will finally break me.