I see this hashtag, #AmWriting, almost daily on one social media platform or another. And without fail, it makes me feel guilty. “Oh, lucky Tweeter in the U.K., there you are, #AmWriting. Or, Facebooker in Indiana, there you are, at it, too.” That’s what I should be doing. Writing. AMWriting. Anne McClane, Writing.
There’s an inherent paradox, there. When I’m looking at social media, I’m most decidedly #NOTwriting.
But…I can say, for the past three weeks, I have been doing a lot more writing. #Writing. Whatever you want to call it, I’ve been getting back into the swing of it.
Speaking of swing, I recently saw a post, I think it was on Facebook, where a writer compared the act of writing to chopping firewood. No one wants to do it, this writer claimed, but if you want to stave off the cold and keep the house warm, you better get to it. Or something like that. I’ve always lived in temperate climates, so the analogy was a little lost on me.
What resonated with me is that writing, most of the time, is a chore. Iterations and iterations. The horror of suffering through brain dumps, raw outputs, to try to sift through to the gold that may or may not be there.
But three positive things (one for each week?) have occurred to me as I’ve gotten back into the habit of writing.
The first: I’ve missed Lacey! (She’s the protagonist in the series of stories I’m in the midst of). You spend too much time with someone, you’re invariably gonna get a little sick of them. But the break I had in writing The Tremors on the PCH, unintentional as it was, must have made my writing heart grow fonder. It’s a nice thing to realize.
The second: I’d really like to do whatever is within my power to keep an unintentional break from EVER happening again. The next break I take from writing, I want it to be of a limited duration, and according to my own plan, my own schedule. And not because I got wrapped around the axle of my own insecurities and anxieties about publishing and promoting. Or caught up in the struggle to balance the demands of my wage-earner job.
And finally: there’s the magic. Speaking of wage-earning, for years, I’ve bemoaned “magic-less” days as a corporate cog in a giant promotional machine. (I’ve worked in marketing for large to mid-size companies for most of my 20+ year career). Not every day is a slog, but there are always those inevitable moments where you feel the life being sucked out of you. Like Count Rugen’s machine from The Princess Bride.
While I can’t go so far as to say that writing puts all that life back; for me, it’s a way to insert the supernatural, the unexpected, the magical, into my day. Another reason I’d be foolish to let the unintentional come between me and #writing again.