Writing In Times of Sorrow

It seems as if I've fallen off the face of the planet. 

It's probably true.

On January first, a friend of mine died in a tragic car crash.

When I found out, it felt like the universe had been sucked from it's oxygen, and I couldn't breathe.

Because even doing that hurt.

At some point, I decided to write. I decided I would take my pain and put it into words. But it wasn't as easy as I thought it might be. It took me a week to even write this post.

All my hipster friends were writing about it the day after they found out, and I absolutely could not. I wanted it to feel right, but it felt weird. How could I do something I loved, when someone I loved was gone?

My friend was a writer, too. We weren't super close, and this year, our paths had kind of split into two, but when it came to writing, it was almost like we were the closest of friends. Writing does that to people. It compels you to start an estranged friendship. And she wasn't into the big wigs, nor did she want to get a book published. But she was the in-the-closet, really-good, sultry, hard-core-love-song, kind of writer. And that made her ten times the woman than she already was.

She was actually reading one of my books (though the book she was reading was crap, and I don't blame her for never getting around to finishing it,) but I realized that, even in times of triumphs and chaos, I could write. I was given that. She wanted to read my book because she wanted to help me make it better. She believed in me, and the fact that I was even pursuing my dream meant a lot to her.

She inspired me to continue writing that third/fourth book I always give up on. (And trust me, I always give up on it.)

This whole death thing is weird, but somehow . . . somehow, there's goodness in all of it. While our clocks still tick, it's easy to forget the things that we're passionate about. It's so easy to forget the moments and words that make our hearts stop beating for a millisecond.

And when her clock ran out, she reminded me of how precious my time here really was. She reminded me why I was passionate about writing. She reminded me that many good things can actually form from dust.

So though her body is gone, her soul is still alive, and because of her I have a damn-good, sultry, hard-core, love story.

Thank you, Q.

The Time Boat

"Writing takes time," said I after beating myself up for the millionth time.

Because for some reason I feel like I should write a book in three months. Get it published within a year, and see my name in lights within two.

No doubt about it, these are unrealistic expectations.

But I've seen writers do it! I've seen so many talented people jump out of the time boat and into reality.

I've seen their names in lights, on billboards, and in screens.

They've done it. I've even written about it here on my blog. But what about me? What's my problem, and why am I stuck on this boat where the water never ends, I'm sea sick, and the only way out is under?

I get inspired and I write, and write, and write, until nothing. I'm drained.

My good words, the voices in my head, it mutes at once. Something must be wrong with me, I think.

And then I edit, erase, and rewrite. And I edit, erase, and rewrite. And I'm stuck. I'm STUCK.

I can't get off the freaking boat. My words are my worst enemy. They keep me where they want me. They sink me.

But . . . not really. I'm still afloat. In this time boat.

And in my moment of frustration, at the sweat of my brow, I realize something grand: real writing takes time. 

I mean, hello, I'm at sea. Each time the sun rises and sets it inspires me. That fireball in the sky gives life. It breaths words into my insides, and I'm able to write.

And when I write, it's euphoric.

It's tingly, and warm, and filling.

I savor those words in my mouth, for every little bit counts. And I want more. I want SO MUCH more! And I binge on every single word.

I feel. My words let me feel.

It is, indeed, my best high.

Yes. I'm addicted. "I'm addicted," I say.

Perhaps, that's why I can't leave this time boat anyway . . .

The time it took to write this: I lost track after an hour.

I think I'll go get some tea now.

Happy New Year!

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