It caught me by surprise, what with all this National Day on Writing and classes and broken elevators and hugging The Perfect Grandson and such. In fact, I almost missed it.
Today’s my second blogiversary.
Celebrating such a thing publicly is odd. I don’t want to be that person in the office who walks around telling everyone it’s her birthday. What exactly are you supposed to do after such an announcement? Prompted congratulations are thin at best. Besides, I’m sure there are several dozen Southern etiquette violations involved, and we all know you go straight to hell for breaking those.
You’re the ones who deserve something, not me. So I’ve got a little something here for you.
I started this hayride for a reason. Two years ago I found myself telling my writing students to scribble incessantly, fearlessly, and then I went home after classes were over and realized I hadn’t written two creative words together in months. Months. My personal writing had taken a backseat to my everyday duties and became that thing I planned to do after the grading/laundry/phone calls/paperwork/planning/meeting/___________.
I wasn’t writing at all. Worse than that, I’d made the very thing I enjoy most into a dangling carrot I’d never quite reach. So I started this blog and decided to make myself get to the page on a regular basis. Absence did not make the heart grow fonder, it made me articulately weak and stumbly. For a couple of weeks I wrote in someone else’s voice – in fact, I channeled a whole slew of mysterious voices.
More than a few times, the frustration of my misplaced voice made me angry enough to quit altogether. Remembering the old days when making words was effortless only compounded the issue. How had I slipped into such a state?
Eventually, it became easier. I added what I now call my Scribbling Hour into my day – an appointment with myself to sit down somewhere and just make words. It’s the only appointment I never break. Between that and this blog, I healed enough to slam out a novel in thirty days last year. I am Writer, hear me roar and all that.
The thing is, I started walking the talk and things turned around. This blog was a big part of that and I’m thrilled I can share this with you. Writer’s block? Hell no. I don’t believe in that boogeyman. Self denial is real, though, and so is procrastination. Neither one can hide under that rock and call itself something swanky. Do I still have crappy writing moments? All the time, but they pass and even the worst of days can leave me a line, a name, a gesture that turns into something stunning later.
So in honor of the National Day on Writing, and as a present to yourself, go write something. It doesn’t matter if it’s awful or tragic or otherwise unsightly. Just do it anyway. If you really hate it when you’re done, then delete the mess or throw pages in the fire or whatever makes you feel better. Then open the same present again tomorrow. Keep doing it until your voice loses the rust and awkward pitch, because it will.
Everyone has something that needs telling. Go tell it.