writing life

Here’s my confession: I don’t love to write. Finding the right words with the proper connotations is tedious. Moving those words into a linear order to convey non-linear thoughts and emotions is frustrating. Constructing a piece so that the reader has all the needed information before arriving at the next point and the next point and, eventually, the conclusion, requires an out-of-myself-ness that’s draining. My thoughts, I find, are unwieldy. They are animals, some angry, fighting, blood-thirsty; others weak, starving, simply thirsty.

And yet, here I am. At my desk, as I aim to be every morning (but truthfully, after checking emails, I only manage to keep myself here about half my mornings). I have a mug of tea, or maybe it’s just a glass of water, my phone is face down, my everything notebook at my side in order to refer to my scribbles about my life and try to make some sense of them. I swivel in the chair, I look out the window. I wonder when the dog will interrupt me to be loved. I manage to get a sentence or two out. Swivel, stare. Where is that dog? I hope he comes by soon, to check on me, to be loved.

I’m here because, while I may not absolutely love the process of writing, I do love reading. Everything is arranged in a logical way, and after going through a well-written paper I understand the conclusions and it’s all so simple; I could explain the universe, or at least this fraction of it. For a few minutes, I feel secure in some new knowledge. Then the information gets admitted into my inner jungle of a world where it interacts with lurking creatures who live there, and this new piece quickly mutates into another unwieldy beast.

So I write something, I wrestle, I struggle, I re-phrase and re-order. I hate the piece. I hate my poor writing. I boil. This is shit!, I inwardly yell. Eventually, I decide I can’t take any more of that topic, or, as a godsend, the deadline approaches, and I stop. I call it good enough.

Some weeks go by.

Then, my hatred calmed, cooled, and stilled, I revisit the work. Perhaps I decide I’m able to work on it again, perhaps it was just returned to me from my professor. I read my own thoughts but more clearly explained. The wild beasts are tamed, the fledglings are cared for. I realize, this is really good. I second-guess myself, check the header, Did I really write this? It all seems so much more manageable in this black-and-white linear space.

And I sulk back to my desk, hoping to tame the rest of the jungle.

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