The worst thing about writers colonies is that sometimes they’re so freaking awesome, you have a hard time adjusting to the real world when you get home. That’s the danger of letting yourself get too comfortable when you’re there. It’s always temporary, this being cooked for and cleaned after, this avoiding answering emails for 28 days… I knew that, I did. But I still didn’t love doing dishes last night.
I feel like I lived all of last month in a cave. A cushy cave filled with really cool people, where we were fed and housed and taken care of, where our beds were large and fluffy, where we were left alone to “do our art” for hours, where thinking like that was totally okay and you didn’t even get laughed at for it, where you could do absolutely anything or absolutely nothing because you had zero obligations, and where you felt… I don’t know… special. I kinda liked it.
My first days back in the city were filled with noise: I realized I did need to answer all those emails. I realized I didn’t do a whole bunch of things I said I would while away. There were bills. There were people to call. The streets were crowded. My writing spot was filled. Twitter was making my insecurities flare up. The BlueBoards reminded me of all the publishing stuff I’d put aside and now should be stressed about and how could I have forgotten to be stressed? Our apartment needs to be completely cleaned out so we can move… The world out there, out HERE, well, there’s a lot going on. And now I’m back and I’m supposed to be a part of it.
Silly me for forgetting.
Anyway, mainly, while I was away feeling all special and enjoying having such a nice, shiny, clean white bathtub, I was also working really hard. I wrote. I wrote and wrote and wrote. I missed E, but I wrote. I could barely sleep through the night, but I wrote. I wrote at my desk in my writing room. I wrote in bed in my bedroom before crashing for the night. I wrote on the steps of a mansion. I wrote on the grass under the trees. I wrote in the laundry room. (In fact, I got some solid pages from those hours in the laundry room!) I wrote and wrote. But the reality of all this writing is that I have to show someone sometime. And now I’m home and there’s no excuse. What I thought was good writing while I lived in my cave might not be so good when it sees the light of day.
I’m… okay, I’m scared.
Fine. I’m petrified.
Part of me wants to run back up there and pound on the doors, begging for them to let me back in.
But I have to put all these insecurities aside and just get to it. Because that’s the reality of being a writer. It’s what all this writing—be it at a desk or in bed or in a basement laundry room—gets us. You don’t need a writers colony for that, you just need to do the writing. And afterward, you need to face the fact that people might have to read it and tell you what they think. We all have to emerge from our caves sometime. I’m just grateful for the time I had down in there. Even if nothing comes from all I wrote, the time spent writing it was a beautiful thing.
Now I’m off to do a difficult thing I didn’t have to do last month… Decide on my own what I am going to eat for lunch. Oh how stressful.