During a recent WW spat one author said something like, 'I'd rather be alive, and I'm not alive if I'm not writing, and being read.'
Well, I say a big Amen to the being read part; I can't wait to see my book on the shelf of some funky bookstore (independent or otherwise, I ain't bothered) with a white post it note saying 'Store Staff Picks' stuck on the front.... Man, I get goose bumps just thinking about it.
But the statement itself, about being alive and writing made me think about what writing really means to me. Because lately, I have been thinking about giving up. My reasons are quite straightforward really. Writing takes time and what with a busy corporate job, three hour daily commute, and sole responsiblity for a child who needs more than just love to grow into a confident well-adjusted human being, I sometimes wonder how much of that precious time is being needlessly frittered away by this solitary tap tapping on my laptop.
How many friends have I dissed, how many evenings out missed because I have to write?
When I think about it, anything well almost any other hobby, would be less isolating and time-consuming. I could take up origami, flower pressing, even mud wrestling and be free of these characters in my head. What's more, I would not have to be alone to do any of the three, although the concept of solo mud wrestling sounds like self-abuse by another name...
But seriously though. I have been thinking about this for some time so I decided, last week, to give up writing. I looked around me, exhaled and thought, yes! Now for some real living. Instead of all that compulsive writing, I'm going to socialise.
So I dusted off my old party clothes, polished the handbag and shoes and waited. But the phone did not make a sound. That was the hardest part. I was not, as I had always imagined, suddenly innundated with invitations from wild and interesting people to accompany them to wild and interesting places. I waited and waited but nothing happened. Then I decided to watch more television and films, but that soon became oppressive as I started thinking of great story lines for my own book.
Worst of all, The Child did not really appreciate me trying to interfere with Barbie play with, story lines that just do not fit the genre. Whoever heard of Barbie and her friends discussing the meaning of life and playing the money markets whilst Ken looks on, happy in the knowledge that his sole purpose in life is to lie face down on the carpet?
I was told that my story was boring and silly.
So like a repentent lover who knows he has much grovelling to do, I flipped open the lid of my lap top and looked lovingly at my work in progress. Aaah! My heart skipped a beat; my mouth felt like it does as I am about to pop a piece of fried fish into it....
Sigh. It feels good to be back. It takes a lot of heartache, juggling and pain but what can I say, it's great to be writing again.