Reading & Writing

The Writer Who Doesn’t Write

pen and paper

I have not written in a couple of weeks.

Sure, I’ve rattled off a few blog posts, though you’ve doubtless noticed a decline in quality. And lists: ’tis the season for list-making. But my novel has sat, neglected, inside my laptop. My journal is empty, my mind filled not with whimsy and dreams, but numbers, time frames, estimations.

For me, this is an aberration. It happens occasionally, but pragmatism is not my status quo. It baffles me that there are people who always live in this mind space and not just because they have to. Perhaps it shouldn’t–my husband is one of them, and without his attention to detail we would be in a whole heap of trouble–but while I understand the necessity of all this infrastructure and organization, and even revel in it from time to time, it will never give me the thrill I get from creativity.

At least, I hope it won’t.

A lot of the numbers and lists lately have had to do with my online business: selling vintage books and handmade creations, attempting to figure out what people want to buy, trying to learn to think like a business person. It’s the kind of thing I’ve long known I could do, but have avoided because of the immense amount of time and energy it requires. For me, writing has always come first. I’ve had mostly mindless jobs, partly because I didn’t want to drain my brain and come home too exhausted to write.

It has occurred to me several times over the last few months that what I’m doing now, pushing for an actual career outside the literary world, is a form of giving up. Continue reading “The Writer Who Doesn’t Write”