In the Land Where I Am a Writer


I live in two places. In one, I am responsible and go to work every day I’m supposed to and pay the rent on time and everything. I even went to work on Friday, when I was feeling sick.

In the other place, I am not so responsible. The only thing I do there is write. My floor is a mess, my shelves overflowing, I can’t find my pants in the mornings. But when I sit down, fingers down on the keys, it’s all worth it.

They are connected by a long tunnel. Sometimes I speed through it. Other times it takes me forever and I come out the other side shaken, and stressed, and grimy from the long haul. And sometimes I’m stuck in it—and I get confused, and write for money, and lose sleep, and wander aimlessly, and am too blurry to be much help to myself on either side.

This weekend—though I have a short manuscript due January 29 and a novel manuscript due March 17—I’m taking a break. I’m going to linger in this place for a while. I have this novel-in-progress sitting open beside me. I read over what I’d written and was very pleased. Much work to be done, but I think a good start.

I’m happy here. This is where I want to stay.

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