A few months ago, I made the bold statement that I was going to begin writing a book. I, like many others, had started writing a book before, only to fizzle out on my effort a few weeks in. Because, LIFE. And, of course, the fear that no one would ever read it but my parents and husband.
I wrote my first short story in 8th grade. I had never sat down to put things that were floating around in my head onto paper up to that point. But, we had an assignment to write a short story for class, so I obliged my teacher and actually applied myself.
I wrote a horror story about a madman that had escaped from a nearby hospital. The story was written in the eyes of a boy, about the same age that I was at the time. My teacher liked it and wanted me to read it to the class (yikes). So, I stood in front of the class and I read the story to them, start to finish. When I looked up, I could see that I had spooked almost the entire class as evidenced by the deer-in-the-headlights look that was staring back at me.
Wow. I hadn’t expected that. The story had spooked me pretty good when I was writing it. I still remember sitting on my bed and madly scribbling down the words as they flew at mach-10 speed from my brain. I didn’t have a computer at the time, so my hand was having a hard time keeping up. As I neared the end of the story, I had scared myself to the point that I couldn’t turn off the light to go to sleep.
Fast forward to high school, where I took creative writing and dabbled in poetry and more short story fantasies. I had considered writing for a living, but knew that it would be a hard life at best. I needed something more stable, so I chose health care – which I do not regret. Still, I have always come back to writing in some form throughout my life as a sort of release. I have a feeling that I am not alone in my enjoyment of writing and it’s therapeutic benefits.
I began writing again toward the end of my second decade; mostly journaling and a little poetry. Then, when we started having children, there was no time. The thoughts and ideas were still there, but there was no outlet for me to release them; there just wasn’t enough time in the day.
Several years later, I started to write a book. After getting frustrated due to lack of time and the inability to commit to the rigor of writing each week, that effort sadly faded. I still have the book on my computer, begging me to finish it. Will I? I have no idea, to be honest.
Journaling has always served me well. It’s therapeutic for me, as it probably is for most people. The book that I am writing now has been just that; therapy. It has forced me to look inside myself a little deeper, to peel back a few more layers and get to the core of who I really am. My sophomoric effort is hovering around 225 pages at this point. It has been edited and re-edited so many times. I continue to pick at it, to add to it, and to scrutinize it. It’s nowhere near being done, in my opinion. There’s so much to write and, once again, I don’t have the luxury of time. With the kids being home since March, there is a constant hum of activity in the background. Even when I get up at 5:00 am to make coffee and sit down in front of the computer, someone’s antenna perks up the minute I settle into the office chair, and I am soon gazing at what I call “Cindy Lou Who” in her PJ’s standing inches away from my elbow (aka my 5 year old daughter).
My hope is that I can finish it and share it with everyone in late 2020 or early 2021. Will that actually happen? Maybe. It’s looking probable.
The title is “Memoirs of a Runner; My Jigsaw Life.” It bares my soul, which is scary to me; maybe scarier than my story in 8th grade. I sincerely want to finish it; I want to complete what I set out to do. And, I want to go back and finish the other book I started. Someday….
Writing is an itch that must be scratched. It is a constant tug at me; even on the days where I am less inspired. I wake in the middle of the night with ideas and often lay in bed and write several paragraphs in my head, knowing full well that if I don’t get out of bed and get everything down on paper, it may be completely gone by dawn. Sometimes, I creep downstairs in the middle of the night, just to get it out. It’s usually already edited and ready by the time the computer screen begins to glow. Then, I let my fingers fly across the keyboard.
So, I’ll keep scratching my itch and we’ll see what happens.