I wrote yesterday.
Sitting on the couch next to my sick daughter who was writing a paper about environmental something-or-other between bouts of coughing up a lung, I wrote. It was a quiet time, in spite of the respiratory sound effects, and productive. Yes, in that way too.
But I can’t quite believe how hard it was to start, after all this time has passed not writing. How much sheer nerve and determination it took to put my fingers on the keyboard and touch the letters that would make the words of that first sentence. And then the next. The uncertainty was awful.
So when I had done as much as I dared, which was quite a bit, I stopped and said, “I just wrote a scene.”
“In my book. I wrote a scene.”
“Good. That’s good.”
“I haven’t written in months. Since maybe October.”
“Mom!” Ah. Now I had her attention. “What the hell is wrong with you?” she demanded.
No one does indignant disbelief quite like an idealistic college student.
“I took a break from it. I had to re-think some things in the plot and then there were the holidays and then work has been crazy . . .” I know, it sounded pretty weak.
“Well, geez, would you hurry up already?”
“I’m trying. But I just don’t think it’s any good. No one is going to want to read this crap.”
“It’s not crap,” she said. “And I want to read it. Other people will, too.”
“But I’m afraid it’s boring. Boring and ordinary and stupid.”
“Mom, it can’t possibly be as boring as bio-technology.”
“Can I quote you on that? Maybe use it as a cover blurb?”
Now she’s laughing, too. “Sure, mom. Whatever. Just finish it, okay?”
So, I wrote yesterday. It was scary. And distressingly unfamiliar. Probably I’m going to have to delete much of it and do some heavy editing of what’s left.
But still, it felt good.
I’m going to try it again, tonight.