“It's time to start living the life you've imagined.” ~ Henry James
November 12, 2003
It’s amazing how much a person can get done when they are avoiding doing what they should be doing. Today I have practically cleaned my house from top to bottom, which would be wonderful—except I did it to put off doing what I should have been doing today.
Why on earth would I put off writing, when I’ve made it abundantly clear to anybody who will listen that that is what I would rather be doing than anything else in the world?
Because writing is hard work. When others read my weekly pieces of fluff, they aren’t supposed to be able to tell the difference between the ones that tripped easily off my fingertips—so to speak—and the ones I sweated blood over. I would say at least half of my Wyndspirit Dreams essays are a labor—and not necessarily a labor of love! But even the hard ones are worth the sense of accomplishment of a job well done.
Now, everybody knows my heart is in writing. Once I was laid off, it only made sense to focus on that. So I signed up for a silly little competition to write a novel in a month. No good reason, other than to prove I can. So I whipped out a little essay for a local magazine, because I finally got around to it. So… All of a sudden, I am totally brain-dead. Wiped. Inspirationless. (Yes, I know. I just made up that word because it fits.) So… I am coming up with every possible excuse not to sit down at the computer and write.
Year after year after year, I daydreamed about having all day to sit at my computer and write. All too soon, I’m afraid, I will be back in the real world making a living working for somebody else doing something I don’t really care about, wishing I had time to write. But, just for now, I get to live the life I’ve imagined.
And is it the way I’ve imagined?
I have no illusions about writing. It is a frustrating process. Sometimes the words flow; sometimes they are super glued to the back recesses of the brain and have to be painfully plucked loose one by one. It’s the same for anybody who has ever had to write something, whether by choice or not. The difference is, for a writer, maybe the words flow a bit more often, but, mostly, writers are just more stubborn when it comes to dragging forth the words when they refuse to flow.
And, yet, there is nothing I would rather do. So, for the days or weeks or months before I rejoin the traditional work force, I will live the life I imagined. And I will treasure every minute of it—even the bad days.