That’s all I do.
Oh, and read like a fiend.
I write for so, so many reasons.
I write so I can sleep at night. I write because I can’t sleep at night. I write because I sorrow, I write because I have abundant joy.
I write because I am.
I don’t even know who I would be without this. I don’t think I could exist. Words fill me- and I cannot remember a time when I wasn’t writing. I was never a little kid with big dreams, thinking that some day I would be a writer.
I just always, always wrote.
Journal entries about the weather, how sunlight looked on sleeping kittens, and Teddy down the street. Stories about people, from the time I was young, broken people. Incredible people. Heroes and monsters.
And always, always, I wrote about a rescue.
My first complete “novel” was finished when I was ten years old. It was about a boy who was- go figure- ten years old. A boy who did not belong. A boy lost in a big family. A boy invisible to most. A boy who found that the only way he could sleep at night was to write.
I was the kid who got in trouble for reading past my bed time. My pillowcase was always conspicuously full of crumpled notebooks, pens that bled into the pillowcase, and knobby hardcover books (I kid you not, I kept the entire Narnia series around my bed- in my pillowcase, under the mattress, hidden in the corner next to the flashlight that was always in need of new batteries). I have an incredibly tolerant mother.
And tonight, again, I fight the battle I have been fighting my entire life: the battle to put me on paper.
I am losing.
There is a word document labeled simply “story” that I am desperately afraid of.
There are half a dozen scholarship essays that I can’t write.
There is a daunting research essay on human rights that I have been trying to write for my entire life.
There are the countless books- from trash to classics, from cheesy romance to tragic plays- that fill some space, however subconscious, in my brain.
All those words.
All that beauty.
All those shoulders I stand on as a writer, all those giants I will never measure up to.
Ralph Waldo Emerson has a particularly haunting phrase that has always stuck out to me: “… my giant goes with me wherever I go.”
My giant, my inability to express.
My giant, this torrent of words held back behind the dam of my fear.
My giant, lying unopened in a word document.
My giant, this petrifying essence of me.