For quite a long time now, writing has been absent from my day-to-day life. I used to be quite a prolific writer, and I enjoyed the process of thinking and observing and writing very much, but I have let the habit slide and, as a consequence, have fallen well out of practice.
This evening, I pulled up a recipe from Stupid Easy. Beanie had wandered down from her bedroom lair to socialize, and she parked herself in front of my computer while I was cooking, occasionally relaying ingredient measurements to me, but mostly reading old posts on the site. At one point, she turned to me and said, “Mummy, I love how you write. Reading your writing feels like talking to you.”
It’s not the first time I’ve been paid that highest of compliments. Many years ago, I had an opportunity to meet Michael in real life. We had been blog buddies for about a year and a half at that point when we discovered that we grew up in the same neighborhood. One day, Michael mentioned that he was heading ‘home’ from Alabama to visit his family. I asked him where ‘home’ was, and it turned out that it was exactly where I grew up (which is an easy car ride from where I live now). Anyway, we made plans to meet while he was there, and after about five minutes over our salads at Bertucci’s, he paid me the highest writing compliment I’d yet received; “I know this sounds weird, since we only just met, but I feel like we’ve been friends for years. You write exactly like you sound.”
Bean’s echoing of that compliment flipped a switch. I have been feeling like I need to write more – that part of the reason that I’ve been feeling so overwhelmed and so skittish and so restless and, yeah, kind of hunted is that I’ve not had an outlet for all the things that I see, think, and feel.
I’m working as a teacher at the moment. A few weeks ago, I printed out and gave my students an agenda that helps them to set clear and specific goals, and I printed one out for myself, as well. I decided that my goal for November is to plan more dinners (dinner time can be very stressful after a long day. “What do you want for dinner?” I don’t know, what do YOU want? “I don’t know. What do we have in the house?” Gah!), but now I’m thinking that I’m going to add another little goal. Next week, I’m going to write two pieces – probably here. The week after, maybe I’ll write three. Regardless of the amount, I’m going to build writing back into my life. I need the outlet.
Maybe a regular writing practice will help me sleep more at night.