i don’t wanna write (sols)

A gift from Mary Helen to
each member of our writing

Last night, after the kitchen was cleaned and the kids were in bed and my workout was finished, you would have found me sprawled out on my living room floor. Perhaps you would have heard what sounded like a little  moan from behind my hands covering my face.

“I don’t wanna write,” I whined.

Andy just laughed.

Karianne said, “Don’t you make people write all day, whether they want to or not.”

I moved my hands so I could slice my eyes to her. Maybe.

“I can’t even move. I’m so tired. I don’t want to get my computer.” (It’s embarrassing to draw out the words in text like they were in real-time.)

Andy returned with my laptop and plugged it in. Great.

“Get up,” he said to me offering his hand.

I reached up and grumbled again, “I really don’t want to write.”

“Aren’t you writing about celebration or joy or something about being a happy writer?” Thanks for pointing that out. 

“It’s not about being all cheery when writing, it’s about celebrating in the thick of the process,” I informed him.

He hugged me and nudged me toward the couch, “Well, then, you better get some words on the page so you can celebrate the fact that you wrote even when you didn’t want to do it in the first place. Isn’t that what you’re always saying makes the difference between being a writer and being someone who wants to be a writer?” Yeah right.

I opened my computer. I reread a few lines. I added a sentence. I felt tight, like I do at the start of a walk, before I’m warmed up. It was uncomfortable, but I kept going, expecting it to get easier. “I’m quitting if it’s not better in ten minutes,” I said to Andy.

“It’ll be better,” he said.

Of course he was right. I became limber and the words began flowing. Chapter one, revised again and again, brought back to the drawing board several times, is now complete. I’m glad I wrote even though I didn’t wanna.

I think this might be the ultimate secret of being a writer — to write even when you don’t wanna.

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  1. I'm so glad to hear that I'm not alone. But I'm not as good as you. I've been putting my writing off (not my personal writing, my obligation writing). I will start again. I will use you as inspiration. I hope that's okay.

  2. It is wonderful to hear that you are not always a 'happy writer' Ruth, just plain wonderful. And I'm happy also to hear that you sometimes complain or whine or both. This all does me good, & I think it pushes me forward to know that you (& possibly all the other slicers) don't always like writing, but then you do it anyway, & begin to fall in love all over again. Thanks for a great small slice of your evening.

  3. You whine? You moan? You get guilted into working on writing? Amazing! I love this glimpse of you on the floor trying to avoid writing. Now I feel better, and I will push myself more to get more writing. You do inspire, even when you moan.

  4. Like the others, I'm inspired by the fact that even you feel like that sometimes! Your description made me feel like I was right there listening to you whine and watching your husband encourage you. I loved how he reminded you with your own words and beliefs!

  5. I just had a similar conversation with a student about reading. You have a great support system–it is clear they truly understand your intentions and deep beliefs about writing based on the way they nudged you.

  6. My favorite line: “Aren't you writing about celebration or joy or something about being a happy writer?” Thanks for pointing that out. I cracked up. When I read your title, my first thought was, “Didn't you just send us a celebrate email for writing?” Love, Love, Love this post. It's true. I don't always like to write; it's not easy. It takes time. It takes commitment. It's so worth it. Thanks for the encouragement!

  7. So that bug even hits you, Ruth. I wondered if you were human when it comes to writing all the time!!!! You have trained your family well, also.

  8. I love that your family supported you right through that moment. Doing it anyway, without wanting to…kind of like doing something that scares you, while being scared. Sometimes there just isn't a better alternative. Good for you.

  9. Haha…yes I whine (sometimes). 🙂 Right now writing is like walking through thick muck, which means doing laundry is sometimes more appealing than writing words. There are different projects I'm working on, but none of them really feel like they are going forward. Not fun!

    Thanks for your comments…you are too kind.