distractions / novels / voices in my head / writing

All About the Writing

motherfuckerLet me just start off by saying I hope this doesn’t sound morbid.

But I was reading up on a medical test I am having next week, and what the test is looking for, and realized there is a very slim chance it could be something serious, and of course being who I am my imagination ran off wild with the possibilities, and then I guess I found myself thinking of my life. Of what I’ve accomplished and what I still want to do. Mainly: what I still want to write.

I thought how I wish I could infuse my usual life with that sense of urgency. Because none of us know how much time we have left. And all these things I find myself distracted by worry over (book-and-career-related things; future-related things; debt-related things), I wish all of that could step aside so I could think only about the writing. And, really, why not shove it all aside? Why not make it so? (In pockets, where I can make time for it.)

Also, symbolically, my birthday is next week. This may or may not have something to do with these Big Thoughts I’ve been having.

So what am I waiting for?

If you’re holding back on something—saying you’ll write it later, you’ll do it later—what happens if later is right now?

8 thoughts on “All About the Writing

  1. I love this! I hope your test goes well and nothing’s wrong. What you said about ‘what happens if later is right now?’ is sort of a regret of mine — I’m glad I learned to trust my writing but I wish I’d learned to do so when I was younger and would have more time to accomplish all the writing goals I have for myself.

  2. Thanks. I needed these words. You have inspired a complete stranger to storm into her boss’ office tomorrow morning and quit. Just kidding! I am inspired to definitely, maybe, quit by next month. I’m working on it! Thanks again!

  3. Hi, Nova ~ sending good thoughts your way for a positive outcome with your medical test … also sending wishes for a very happy birthday next week. Take care! Jo [from the YA novel writing workshop you taught last summer.)

  4. Dude. I had a similar experience this summer. I had a weird legion on the back of my tongue, so I went to see my regular doctor. She did her thing, told me to meet her in her office (something that she NEVER does) and looked at me full in the face. “I’m not telling you that you have cancer,” she said, “but I AM telling you that you have something weird, and that you need to see a specialist today. Not tomorrow. Not next week. Today.” And then there was the biopsy and the waiting. Want to know what’s going to put the fear of god in a person? Waiting to find out if they have tongue cancer.

    Now, during this time, I really did some tough thinking. About my relationship with writing, and how that would change if I was suddenly unable to speak forever. But those questions, about the book that I’m writing vs. the book that I WANT to write? About the book that is living inside me but that I feel like I’m not a good enough writer yet to pin it to the page? Yeah, that’s mostly completely gone now. There’s nothing like facing the possibility of permanently losing your voice to help you to find it on the page.

    (It took two weeks to find out, but I did end up finding out that it wasn’t cancer after all. Thank friggin’ god.)

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