Wednesday, September 26, 2007

The Meaning of Life is Apple Brown Betty...



Ask me where I am. I am in “my office” (aka the coffeeshop) writing.

Last night I had the most amazing epiphany, I decided I was going to give up writing. How simple and it has never occurred to me, this could be the decision that would fix all my concerns. A simple life of Apple Brown Betty and color-coordinated furniture, I would even wear an apron, learn to cook. Yes, this was the last thought I had before going to bed. I even told my husband, I’m going to spend more time with him because I’m not going to write anymore. He mumbled something in his half-sleep stupor and fell back into the dreamworld.

I felt so much better with decision. I thought all my worry about this second manuscript being published, all this anxiousness of organizing my writing time and trying to create a schedule, it would be over. I thought about how free my days would be. I had this image of me watching “The View” or sitting on the couch reading or dusting the plants I'd buy. I realized how much time I’d have to do nothing.

I am anxious by nature and I’ve always believed that writing is a place to focus my nervous energy. But as I started to think about it, I wondered if maybe my nervousness was fueled by my writing, my imagination this place where there are daily tragedies, worst-case scenarios played over and over. I’m not sure what came first, the chicken or the egg, the nerves or the writing, but on my first day in trying to give up writing, I’m writing. And wondering if maybe writing is just something I cannot not do.

My husband asked me this morning what I was talking about last night and then reminded me that I’ve felt this way about my writing before. I have. I remember once (before my first book was accepted), I made a speech about how my manuscript submissions were a voluntary tax to the US Postal Service. Maybe I’m just in a transition, maybe it’s the full moon—I’m mostly water and can feel the minus tides in my bones—maybe every so often we have to stop and consider what we’re doing here, what we care about, where we want to go.
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