I gave up writing a year ago.
I won't pretend that it was a decision I made. I didn't wake up one day and say to myself, "Self. Today you will not put pen to paper. You will not press down the keys. You will not."
I don't know how the words dried up. But I can tell you one thing, the words didn't stop coming because I ran out of things to say.
Maybe I became blocked because I had too much to say? Terrible, scary things. Things that would make me vulnerable. Dark things. Things that would make me unpopular. Things that would invite pity when pity was the last thing I wanted.
In the morning I'd sit by the window with a pot of tea and all my stuff and wonder, "When did I start giving so many fucks?"
I resolved to be brave and to write everything down anyway, but the words never made it out. It's like, in their stampede to get out of my head, the words piled up in the doorway and panicked. The damned things couldn't just form an orderly queue and wait their turn. Instead, they went all Braveheart and in their struggle to take the door by force, they flailed about so violently that they managed to ground themselves down into dust.
Somehow telling a story, whether it was a personal anecdote or pure fiction, became a lot like building a sand castle without a bucket. I couldn't carry the damned words from one spot to the next and, if by some miracle, I managed to gather a few specks of sand, nothing I did could hold the grains together.
My sad excuse for a sand castle
For awhile, I've felt the itch but I haven't been able to scratch. (This is a feeling I know well, since I have T-Rex arms and can't reach most of my back.) I've been diligently carrying around an empty journal. I keep buying pens and filling them with whimsical inks. I kept hoping that I'd be hit by the jolt of something that would reunite me with my love of writing. Something would come along and knock me out of this funk. One great idea. That's all I needed! #stillwaiting
Beside me sits an empty notebook. One of the good ones, with smooth Japanese paper and just the right kind of binding. But its emptiness is psyching me out. It might look fresh and new, but it's already full with the weight of expectation.
Perhaps, it's time to take a different tack. It's time to make this work by making it work.
Adobe told me that I need to have more empathy for our poor, novice customers, and that, to feel true empathy, I need to use more Adobe products. But, let's be honest, I'm no designer. So, Spark it is.
Today, writing isn't a hobby. It's not my love. It's work. (And, god help me, if there's one thing I do excel at, it is working.)
Today is day one and it's a grind.