I have a routine I follow in the morning after I’m at my desk.
* Check sites to make sure they are up and running.
* Check email to each site.
* Check calendar of what needs to be accomplished that day.
* Checkitty check check check ALL THE THINGS!
Some mornings it’s a dark trudge to my office that is only made bright by my love of the work.
Most think that being a writer is glamorous and an unending party. Nope. Far from it. It’s an isolated grind of words and of ideas to be put into words.
Husband regularly asks me: How do you find so many words?
It wasn’t until the first time he asked that I ever gave it much thought. How do I find the words? My answer to him was that I don’t find the words, they find me.
There are stories to be told, truths to lay in the light, laughable foibles to be shared. There is sadness to speak, hidden atrocities to expose, indecencies to strip bare.
My gift in this world, what I am fit for, what I was made to do, is to allow the words to flow from God knows where, through me and to the page, electronic or otherwise. I have known this since I was a young girl, yet only embraced in adulthood.
It is a daily grind of emotional bloodletting and, at times, a physical beat down. It is also a joy beyond description. To take a thought and to put it into words that someone, anyone, can read and say, “Yes! Exactly!” is the moment of validation to a writer.
This morning, I received an email from a stranger that said as much. So many hours of writing and I hear nothing. So many hours of my ass in the chair and ~crickets~. So many thoughts and emotions and tears or laughter to a room of one: me. Two if you count Dexter.
I’m totally good with that because I love the grind. I’d do it if no one read; I’ve done it when no one read.
Writing is what I love like nothing else I have ever done (excluding my marriage and motherhood). The very act of connecting to you, possibly allowing you to see that you are not alone, that you matter, is worth every minute I spend churning out my endless words.
The only way to be a writer, the only way to survive writing, is to love the grind. Otherwise, the first time you you fail, the first time you’re turned away or mocked, the first time words fail to lift and instead tear your flesh, you’re out. The brutality of the grind becomes clear; either you stay or you go. It’s how a writer is made.
Hell, I think the only way any artist, scientist, creator, mother, father, or student-of-anything can be successful is to love the grind.
I do. God help me, I do.
That is not to say I don’t agonize over my decision to continue a life that is pure torture some days. There are days I read my words and determine that I’m a hack, that I lack a proper education, that I’m a laughable, disgraceful, struggling wannabe, and that it would be best if I simply STOP IT.
And I do.
I push away from the work. I have a glass of something potent. I eat cheese and cake. I rail against the time I’ve wasted and lost in this ridiculous endeavor, and question my sanity for having such a long go at it. I wallow in self-pity. I worry for my future. I start plotting a giant burn party for one as I gather manuscripts and notes.
I’ve done this enough times that I should be embarrassed to admit it, but it’s the truth of a writer’s life.
If I’m lucky (and so far I have been), the moment passes and I get back to the work of my words.
Dark trudge to my office or not, most days I love the grind.