The Writing Life

Ah, my blog. My big bang. Mwah, mwah, mwah, how I’ve missed you. My own precious little space where each and every word, every cadence, every nuance and every comma, every expression, is mine, all mine. I can be serious or unabashedly frivolous. I can tell stories, or not. I can do something; or I can do nothing.

Sounds so sexy, doesn’t it: writing.

It’s certainly a crowd-pleasing occupation at parties.

Funny thing, though, when you decide that you want to write for a living.

When you will take the plunge, at last, you will suddenly find yourself sitting at your desk and typing….A lot.

More than you ever thought you could, or would. You will write on all sorts of topics, in all types of voices, for all walks of clients. And when you have paid your rent, and your bills, and bought your food, and your plane tickets, you will still write some more, for you, just because. Everything you observe will start to come to you in sentences and phrases.

Your love for this task will be put to the test, because you will spend more time doing this than you spend doing any other thing in your life. You will secretly hope that Malcolm Gladwell’s 10,000-hours hypothesis holds water (and only hope you won’t get carpel tunnel trying to find out as you’re racking those suckers obnoxiously on your time-clock).

You will be amazed that you never tire of this task, that it never bores you as so many other things do, that your love for it really is inextinguishable. You will start to understand, and more importantly, you will start to trust in the breeze that blew in from your open window as you turned your head to look at the tree, at the street, in that sliver of a moment of doubt, your bank book spread in front of you.

You will have rather obvious realizations about the writing life that oddly never occurred to you before.

Hm, let’s see, for starters, that writing is a sedentary activity.

Who knew? Well you might have, had you thought about it, but you didn’t. You will, in the crevices of your mind, consider this a great challenge and posit solutions.

How much does a treadmill desk really cost? Could you write, and read, while bobbing your head up and down at one? Yes, but could you do an interview on a treadmill desk without your voice quivering suspiciously? Ah, but could your floor support the weight of a treadmill?

In the end, you will conclude that placing a mini stepper under your standing desk is the most viable solution.

When you get up to take breaks, it will be only to assuage your fears of developing a hunched back, and to relieve your screaming, cooped up legs. Because while you’re passionate about this task, you’re not giving your back over to it, and, well, you’re also pretty wild about yoga.

Then, the words. It’s just so playful. And fun. The letter combinations will spill from your every pore and orifice. When you think that you have exhausted your supply, of words, or thoughts, or ideas, a new shipment will materialize from your voracious reading, cram its way into your brain and cannon-ball from your fingers. You will sit at your desk for hours on end. And through writing, you will grow. You will gain not only straight-forward facts but a deeper knowledge as you explore, learn, and resolve questions only to stumble upon new questions worthy of being asked, begging to be examined.

It took me three months to get my daily writing chops back, at last reaching the sought-after fluidity, speed, and volume, all dredged from the inner well. Still, as it is with writing, there are, and will forever be, miles to go. It is the gift that keeps on giving, refusing to disengage, or be figured out entirely, or to be won. And through your writing, you will grow.

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