i write because…
I can write in all kinds of conditions.
I used to write with train tracks circling me, hot wheel tracks balanced on my ankles, and paper airplanes swirling around. I used to write with a little girl singing and snapping Legos with precision. I used to write while Beyblades swirled, and Sonic the Hedgehog pajamas were a favorite. I used to write while my oldest daughter echoed my position, across the room on another couch, with a makeshift cardboard computer, a sharpie, and intense concentration on writing her next “blog post.”
These conditions no longer exist.
I write when it is dark outside and the moon hangs in space. When the stars scatter across the deep night sky my words stack, but they don’t always stick. When the ink black gives way to dawn, I line up the lines. They are messy and scrawl across the pages of my journals.
The past years it has been harder and harder to write the stories that are knocking around inside of me. That is not to say that I haven’t been writing. I have written. Copious amounts. Yet, there are still stories demanding to be written; I avoid them.
The conditions, they are not to blame.
I can write in a bustling coffee shop, an obnoxiously overfilled airport gate, an idling car, the corner of a classroom, the middle of the lunch room, the waiting area of the ER, and next to the stove while the broccoli steams. I can write next to a campfire, on the bank of a creek, in a canoe, and with a flashlight. I can write while the wind howls and the hail drops and the dusk settles.
I write in the deep afternoon when winter grey has settled into my bones or the sun is heavy in the sky. The house is quiet in these hours, and yet it seems that words are difficult to tether. I run and I walk and I stretch and I try to name the color of the sky as if these will warm up the words and help the stories to slide out of my soul and onto the screen.
It is the conditions that clamor for my attention; the conditions that are easy to describe. When I write about the conditions, I don’t have to sort through the layers of the stories. I just write the conditions, while the conditions surround me.
The conditions that surround me right now are comforting. I am in the corner of a leather couch with my laptop balanced on my knees, and a puppy who has snuggled close. She is not supposed to be on the couch; I do not like dog hair. My ankle remains elevated and iced. I am tired of being in sweats. Luna (the puppy) squishes even closer. She has been my constant companion, staying with my around the clock. Her hair sticks to my black fleece, and I am still glad she is close.
I write, and I wonder why I am writing around and around and around instead of simply naming the kind of writer I am. I know the kind of writer I am.
I am the kind of writer who writes in ever-changing conditions.
I am the kind of writer who is always trying to add light to the darkness.
I am the kind of writer who strives to tell wholehearted stories, even when they are raw.
I am the kind of writer who finds beauty and hope in the ugliest of stories.
I am the kind of writer who is tenderhearted.
I am the kind of writer who writes so others will want to write their stories, too.
I am the kind of writer who questions if I am telling the truth, but have decided there are many versions of the truth, and therefore, I’ve become the kind of writer who tells the kindest truth possible.
I am the kind of writer who is on a constant quest for one thing: universal truth.
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