The writing relationship

It’s November, which means for the second year in a row I’m attempting to write 50,000 words of a novel in a month.

Crazy right?

Yep.

But not as crazy for me as NOT writing.

See, I have this wacky relationship with words. I need them. I cherish them. I cry over them.

Last week as my husband and I took time to clean and sort our things in the attic, I found a box full of notebooks and journals. In them were more than a decade’s worth of words and lessons and notes about what I’d been reading in the Bible.

They were wet. Or had been. And when I pulled them from the box, they were moldy and stuck to each other and undecipherable.

And still I hesitated to throw them away.

Those were my words!

Fear not; they are in a garbage bag awaiting a trip to the curb this weekend.

It still pains me to see them ruined.

And yet I have hope because words are part of me. Maybe I can’t re-create the words or the notes or the life lessons. And maybe it’s good that I can’t relive the early years of our marriage with a day-by-day dramatic and emotional account in my own words.

Sometimes, I need to write just to get the feelings out. To process all that’s going on in my head. I think in written words, not spoken ones. When I open my mouth, I tend to say little or speak a ton of nonsense. I don’t really have a happy medium when I speak. Writing, though, is a whole different story. (Pun intended?) It’s my therapy. My encouragement. My soul-cleansing.

And it’s a demanding friend.

The more time I give it, the more time it wants. In the quiet of my home these last few days, I’ve showered my writing with attention. Tomorrow, I will feel guilt when I have to divert my attention to the children. Writing and children CAN coexist without attention starvation. I’m still working that balance.

Writing requires commitment. And commitment is always hard work. And hard work is rarely easy but almost always worth it.

I find myself comparing my writing relationship to other writers, and just like in friendships and marriages, no good can come of the comparison game. Still, I am jealous sometimes of the time other writers can spend with their writing.

And I wonder if I’ve chosen wisely, this friendship with writing. We are lifelong friends, though, and to lose this friend would be to lose a piece of myself. This friendship might not ever (okay reality check: will not ever) make me rich in the ways of money, but it enriches my life in ways I can’t tally.

So if you see me this month, and I have a far-off look in my eyes, it’s because I’m dreaming of my next writing span. Or I’m tired and undercaffeinated because I’ve been up early or late writing.

Bring me some coffee! I’ve got a date with a book’s worth of imaginary friends!

And now it’s been confirmed: I am definitely crazy.

If you want in on the crazy, here’s the manifesto.

Write on, friends. Write on.

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