I’m taking to writing on here once again not because I have much commitment to this blog in particular, but because I need some outlet. As a professed writer, I should actually write, shouldn’t I? As it is, I have been receiving more opportunities to do so at work since our Director of Marketing left the company for a new job with the University of Michigan this past summer, and I admit that I have actually greatly enjoyed this opportunity. I suppose I am rather proud to be making a living doing what I said I would – or at least to be in the nascent* stages of carving out a career of writing.
Saying that you’re a writer sounds much sexier than actually doing it.
Saying, “I’m a writer” conjures up images of a slick, minimalist workspace in a city skyscraper or maybe throwing back a couple whiskeys (or, my preference, cognacs) while you muse over what you’re going to write. Instead, I get to write from a cubicle in a warehouse with no windows in a hardbottle neighborhood in Flint.
Not very sexy.
The way that life has gone since finishing grad school, I’ve been busier than ever. I don’t know how grad school works for everyone else, but our cozy little cohort always managed to find time to get really toasted once a week or so before going back to our books.
I get nostalgic for grad school sometimes since in the year and a half since graduating, all my free time goes to something like cooking or cleaning or paying bills or working on my resume and applying to jobs or working a second or third job. The list goes on. It’s 6.30 on a Saturday night and this hour or so of freedom is my weekend where I get to do what I want. And I’m choosing to spend it with you.
Sitting down to write while you’re at home is always a dangerous thing. If you have a personality like mine, you’re always looking around and noticing things that need to be done. It would be a miracle for me to be able to sit down and put my thoughts out all at once. If you’re not noticing something that needs to be done, there’s someone else reminding you of their presence in your world and their needs such as your favorite dog in the world plopping her head on your lap with a forlorn look that would go well an animal cruelty commercial.
But this is my hour of freedom. With the dog and the cat both napping and my partner at work, I get to breathe. I get to treat myself to an hour of quiet with only the cars going by on Saginaw Highway and incense burning and the lights low and a glass of $4 wine.
Again, saying you’re a writer is much sexier than doing it.
But, when you’re like me, you come back to it because you have to. You come back to it because writing helps you to understand the world a little better, particularly when it’s a week like the one this has been where so much seems to make so little sense. You may not have much, you may be drinking from a $4 bottle of wine and trying to not let your eyes leave the computer screen for fear of remembering all that you have to do, but that makes the moment that much more important. Why? Because you have to remember. You have to make it through the tough moments in life and come out on the other side – both on a personal level and on a collective level. You have to come out on that side and remember where you were and what life was like before you made it over the mountain to the Promised Land with more than just a vague feeling of how bad things were.
*(I have an MA in French literature and I make shit for pay, so I’m allowed to use the word nascent, OK?)