I didn’t want to write about love last week because I already talk about Alex too much and it’s probably because he’s secretly abusive and I cry myself to sleep at night. But now I want to talk about another kind of love. The lusty kind that never stops making your heart race. The oppressive kind that you dread and wish had never come to you. That love which can be so toxic and leave you so torn up that you still crave it with every breath.
I did a podcast with Climb Out of The Cubicle a couple weeks ago and we started talking about writing goals and “what’s next” and all of those terrifying things that are only fun to think about on December 31st when reality gets fuzzy and you think you can do anything.
What’s next? To write and write and write.
I was a storyteller before I knew the alphabet existed. When I mastered letters and discovered words could be strung together on a page, it was like getting my first pair of glasses, “I can see the leaves on the trees!” I couldn’t believe you could put stories in books and choose to visit other worlds with the turn of a page. I was going to do this. I was going to be a writer.
I wrote all sorts of stories. Time travel, the Holocaust, Mermaids. I wanted to create worlds and detail dramas and explore all my own private desires by shrouding them in fictional characters.
Depression kept me from writing for a few years. Dastardly dating choices ensured the estrangement away from my first love.
I longed to write, I planned to do it, but I feared the blank page. I didn’t know where to begin.
At some point my mind shifted and I began to view my life as a story to tell. The flood gates opened and I wrote and wrote and wrote. And people were willing to read it. It was amazing. I was a writer. I had stories to tell, and I would never run out because my life is ridiculous.
But as I told Amber in the interview, “I wanted to be a writer long before my life became horrible.”
I love telling my own stories and I don’t intend to stop any time soon. But I want to go back to that first love. I want to rediscover that thrill, that awkward delight. I don’t know when or how, but I have to find my way back there.
It terrifies me. I feel like I’m not allowed to play in this arena— I should stay in my corner with my personal essays and tell-alls and stop letting my mind follow a thought about what a certain kind of human might do in a certain situation if they wanted a certain kind of thing they weren’t allowed to have.
(And then I should obviously get an editor.)
There’s a room in my house solely devoted to creating things. It’s for writing and painting and holding the books I wish I’d written. Too often it gets demoted and becomes a holding cell for Christmas decorations waiting to be repacked or documents waiting to be filed.
I need to spend more time in this room. I need to lock myself in and unlock that part of my brain that I’ve been telling to wait for so long.
On the other side of the door Alex is watching Men in Blazers, reading Wikipedia articles, and comparing flights to various faraway countries. But it’s a different world in here. There’s insidious music to trigger my mood, incense burning, cups of tea, and hobbits dancing.
Okay maybe there aren’t hobbits just yet. But it could happen. I’m pretty sure that if I get out of my own way, anything could happen.
Do you write fiction? What’s your creative process look like? Do you get in your own way?
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