On most days, I wouldn’t trade this writerly thing for all the money or supermodel looks in the universe. But then there are days like today, when I am so irritated all over that I actually feel like my brain itches.
In fact, my most recent Facebook status update says I’d like to be an idiot for a day so I could get some peace and quiet.
I think what I really mean is that the world is a harsh place for writers sometimes. It rubs you raw. I know it does that to everyone. But what compounds it for a writer is that you’ve got all these characters and plots in your head, clamoring for your attention on the inside. And like everyone else, you’ve got jobs and bills and traffic and the daily demands of living demanding your focus on the outside. You are constantly divided.
Sometimes, the characters win, and you say screw the fifty-odd-million other things on your plate and you write. But sometimes, the world wins, and your characters get squashed like bugs. When you try to breathe life back into them with what’s left of your own weary brain, they are flat. What did you expect, when you let the world smack them with a flyswatter?
And that? Well, that just sucks.
There are days when I truly think that if I have to stand in one more line, take one more phone call, go to one more meeting, or respond to one more soul-sucking idiotic bit of trivia, I will snap. I want so bad to just sit somewhere quiet and peaceful and WRITE. I am amazed by people who go and go and go and talk and talk and talk and don’t seem any the worse for wear. How can they not be driven as crazy by lack of time to sit and reflect and create as I am? Or do they just wear the frustration better on the outside?
On those days, I have moments of wishing I wasn’t a writer. I just don’t like me when I’m like that. After all, the world is also the place that is filled with my loved ones and the sights, sounds and events that are my inspiration. I love it, so I hate that feeling of just wishing it would leave me the frick alone for a while so I could do something with all the ideas it has given me.
Perhaps the only people other than writers who can understand this are introverts, who live in an extrovert’s world and are slapped silly every day with overdoses of interaction, chaos, busy-ness, and the like. People who crave, want and truly NEED time to reflect get the short end of the stick in a go-go-go world.
All that is to explain why I, as a writer, feel the need to apologize for my behavior on days like today, which not surprisingly tend to happen most on Mondays.
– To Lee, I’m sorry that when after being in a day of endless meetings and getting chattered at by a million people until my ears feel like they’re gonna bleed, I look at you like you’re a wacknut when you suggest we go to the store. I’m the wacknut, not you. And I’m a wacknut who knows that if she doesn’t get out of the nonstop blah-blah-blah of everyday drivel soon, she’s going to either cry or moon someone.
– To the long list of people who have moments of thinking “she’s not listening to a word I just said,” I’m sorry. Sometimes, I’m not. An idea just flitted into my brain, and if I don’t capture it in the mental butterfly net and tie it down, it is going to fly away. And it may be the idea that helps the latest short story turn the corner from just another literary wannabe melodrama with a lot of big words into something memorable.
– To my friends and family, I apologize for being difficult to make plans with sometimes. There are days I want nothing more than to surround myself with fun and laughter, and days I just want to hide and write. The problem is, I have a hard time figuring out which one its going to be until I wake up. I guard my writing time so jealously because there is so very little of it, and struggle every day to find the right balance between living life and writing about it. I dream of and work towards a point in my life where I can give up the super-stressed-my-job-is-nuts-but-I-can’t-take-a-paycut-in-exchange-for-more-peace part of me so that there is more of me for the things that I love – my life and my words.
– To the freakin’ idiot who grabbed my last nerve, yanked it and wouldn’t let go until it was hanging by a thread so thin you can’t see it (and there are far too many to count), I will warn you that chances are you will end up in something I write someday. You won’t look like you, of course. But yeah, that asshole character? Thanks for the inspiration, buddy.
And for that, I won’t apologize at all.