why I write

I was reminded tonight why sometimes you need someone to light a fire under you to keep you focused on the task at hand.  It made me think of a little blog I wrote more than a year ago...about writing.  I think this is just as relevant today as it was then, so I'm going to put it up again.  Some of the players in my family have changed...the old Labs have gone to doggy Heaven, and Indy has joined the family...but it's basically my life in a nutshell...

Ok…so you know when you’re writing your blog and the dogs won’t stop barking and jumping on you? And the kids are asking to get a ride to a friend’s house, and “by the way,” they toss in, “can we stop and grab something to eat because we don’t like what you had planned for dinner?” And you come back thirty minutes later with a greasy pizza that you flop down onto a paper towel to avoid messing up a plate, because you really hate doing dishes, and besides, you have to find time to write, but your eyes are fighting to stay open because you haven’t slept well in days. As soon as you sit down at your laptop, the ninja kitty with his unmanageable shedding problems decides to snuggle up on top of the keyboard, lodging tufts of fur under the keys. So you have to go find that can of compressed air (the blowy thing, you call it) and it’s never where you left it. The kids invariably took it upstairs to do God knows what to you don’t even want to know, and now the can is completely empty, so you have to just blow really hard on the keys while holding the laptop upside down over the bed (just in case you drop it) and hope the fur all comes out.

Once you finally have the keys working again, you plop back down into the bed to write just as the dogs (the same ones you booted outside for being irritating) start barking at the back door to come inside. Once you corral them into their beds and they settle down, you shut the cat into the hallway, turn the TV to mute, adjust the pillows so you’re completely comfortable, pull the laptop onto your lap and flip the screen open, type exactly three words onto the blank white page when the phone rings. It’s the kids. They need you to come pick them up.

You miss the driveway three times picking them up because you can’t see for crap in the dark, and it doesn’t matter that you’ve been to this house no less than twenty times in the past thirty days, you still can’t find the turn in the pitch black night. You finally inch your way to your destination and surrender the driver’s seat to your sixteen year old daughter who may not have the years of driving experience, but can see infinitely better at night than you.

You arrive back home to the dogs jumping, and the cat shedding, and the pizza calling you to have “just one more piece.” Your husband is now home and settled into the bed beside you watching a movie that would be distracting if you weren’t very focused on the task at hand. You only have three words written, and there are hundreds more to go before the night is over. You are committed to tuning out the TV, ignoring the dogs, avoiding the cat, saying goodnight to the kids, picking up the laptop and finishing your blog because there are hundreds of people expecting you to come up with something brilliant! And you would be delighted to do just that if it weren’t for the horrible acid indigestion (probably due to that last piece of pizza) burning a hole in your esophagus. So you put the laptop down (again) and stomp off to the kitchen to find antacids.

Armed with a bottle of Tums, and a glass of ice water, you trudge back to the bedroom, flop down on the bed to write, fluff the pillows behind your head, pull the laptop back onto your lap, lean into the soft pile of pillows to stare at the blank screen (because you just erased the only three words you typed because they were inappropriate, and mostly untrue) and wonder what in the hell possessed you to write a daily blog in the first place? It’s nearly impossible some days to come up with something entertaining. And sleep used to be your friend, but now you’re almost completely on the outs. Your husband has forgotten what you look like without a laptop attached to you, or a cell phone in your hand and your children call you the crazy blog lady instead of Mom.

But in the back of your mind you remember that you‘re a writer. Even when you’re so exhausted you can’t keep your eyes open. Even when it’s inconvenient. Even when the inspiration doesn’t flow easily. Even when the subject wavers in and out of focus. At your core, you are a writer. And writer’s most definitely write!

Until the next time…I may be tired…but I’ll be writing!

Copyright © 2000-2018, Erica Lucke Dean. All rights reserved. Any retranscription or reproduction is prohibited and illegal.
Posted on June 30, 2011 .