I am a gruuuump this morning. What should I blame it on? It always seems to be the same three culprits: lack of sleep, weather, other people. Blame! Blame! Blame! But guess what, Meggie dear? Living in the world means that you must let go of your idea of perfection. You can't live in a completely controlled environment your entire life. Sometimes you'll stay up all night, sometimes it will be slightly warmer outside than desired, and sometimes -- a lot of the time -- other people will do and say things that are the equivalent of nails on a chalkboard. But who even uses chalkboards anymore? It's all white boards. No, it's all computers. No, it's all smart phones with apps. Who's the smart one now? You or the phone? Probably the phone because you are too attached to it and will end up developing a handful of tumors from always having that brilliant phone in your lazy hand. Hey! Just kidding. I got off on a tangent. And that "you" is actually just me. I would never speak so harshly to you. Maybe I should try not speaking so harshly to myself. THAT'S AN IDEA. Okay, I got off on a tangent, but now I'm back on the highway of the mind. Highway, freeway: What's the diff? There is so clearly a difference, but I sincerely know not what it is. Let's see... You do not have to pay a toll on a freeway and life is a highway. That's correct, no? No. I mean, yes. I mean, why are you still reading this?
Why am I still writing this? And why did I decide last night, impulsively, to write a novel? Because it will give me a sense of purpose, as if I am doing something with this vast wasteland of time? So I can claim to be a writer at family gatherings, which just really means I am unemployed and directionless? I would give a fairly confident "yes" to all of those questions. But the real question I have to ask myself is: Do I have a story I need to tell? I cannot answer that just yet. I do not know. I do know that I feel like I should know. And if I don't know, then maybe that answer is no. If you have a story that needs telling, wouldn't it be achingly clear? Wouldn't it keep you up at night, your thoughts consumed with plot and characters and setting and words that will flow when the sun rises and you drink your 8th cup of coffee? Isn't this what happens to "real" writers? Sometimes I wish I was just a simple farmer.
I gotta stop trying so hard. And thinking so much. And worrying and apologizing and doubting and leaving broccoli in hot cars. There are a lot of things I have to stop doing, but there is only one thing I have to start doing: Writing. Write away the worries, the apologies, the doubts, the broccoli. Write until I figure out the answers -- If this is true, I may never stop writing.