Writing used to be so much easier for me.
I’ll rephrase that: inspiration used to come much more easily to me.
When I was in high school, I toted notebooks – yes, plural – around with me. Always. I was never without a pen, blank, lined pages, and the next story brewing in my head.
People who sat next to me in class throughout those angsty years, when we thought the problems we had were THE ULTIMATE in problems, and that, like, NOBODY understood us, can tell you that when the rest of the class was (or at least was supposed to be) taking notes, I was scratching away at my next short story, my next free verse poem, my next novel idea.
There was a book I wanted to turn into a screenplay (and still plan to).
My first (and very unhealthy, abusive) relationship was going to become my first novel.
I had a wild idea about running away with two of my best friends across the country, and that was going to become a short story.
Almost every angst-filled feeling I had, I could turn into a free verse poem, a vignette, a metaphorical or allegorical story with a quick twist to a one-two punch in the feels at the end. Writing was my passion. It was who I was, it was the way I filled every second of my spare time, it was what I wanted to spend my life doing.
Real Life™ caught up with me, eventually, as it is apt to do, and I became distracted. At sixteen, I realized the medical field was the place for me, and I began to pursue it wholeheartedly. I chronicled a lot of my feelings regarding nursing school and where I really wanted my career to head right here, and I can tell you, now that I have graduated and have been working in my field for a total of 7 1/2 years (two years of which have been as a registered nurse), I absolutely made the right decision. In fact, I’m currently even toying with the idea of going to medical school in a few years, but that’s a post in and of itself, for another day.
My passion for writing and my desire to publish never wavered, but the amount of time I had available to write grew shorter and shorter, and my sources of angsty inspiration waned, as I grew up a little more and realized life really doesn’t have to be that dramatic.
My first marriage was a train wreck. We yelled. We called each other names. We hid things from each other. We never agreed. We resented each other. Our parenting styles did not go together. Most importantly, though, we were not friends. And a marriage that has no basis in friendship, where you just plain don’t enjoy spending time together, and where, most of the time, you just honestly don’t like each other, is one built on a proverbial foundation of quicksand. That’s the way ours was, at least.
After we split, I felt like a huge weight had lifted off of me. I could breathe. I could move. I could think.
And then I realized how long it had been since I had truly been inspired to write. I realized it had been years since I had written out of passion, out of the sheer need to put pen to paper and get the thoughts, the scenes, the feelings out of my head.
I made a few attempts at short stories based on experiences through nursing school (and the end of my marriage), but when it really came down to revisiting scenes and feelings that I wasn’t quite ready to yet, I blanked. Choked. Whatever you want to call it. I just couldn’t keep going. Maybe one day I’ll go back and try to finish them. I’m pretty sure they’re on a notepad somewhere around here.
I can’t talk about diving back into writing again without the mention of one man, though.
To make a very long, deep, emotionally charged story (which I hope to someday turn into a novel) a bit shorter, I’ll say this: we were an unlikely pair. I was newly single and flexing my muscles, as it were, trying to get his attention. It was meant to be a fling at first, but we connected in a way neither of us anticipated, and we fell for each other. It was the first time I can say I felt something in years.
That feeling all of a sudden, after realizing I had been numb my entire adult life to date, sparked the drive to write that I thought I had just outgrown. In our six-ish months in whatever semblance of a relationship we had, I hemorrhaged, onto paper, every feeling I had at him or about him. Letters, short stories, musings. It all totaled a little over fifty pages when it was all said and done, if I remember correctly. I couldn’t stop myself, just like I couldn’t in high school. It was like waking up. It was amazing.
I couldn’t believe I went six and a half years without inspiration. Without that kind of introspection, without the stories running through my head, without creating these vignettes, without putting pen to paper just because I had to get a scene out of my mind and into the world.
After all of that was over, I met my best friend, and we got married six months ago. We recently (re)watched my favorite show in the entire history of television – Californication. It was my third time watching the entire series beginning to end, and it’s my favorite show because Hank Moody is my spirit animal.
If you’ve never seen the show, David Duchovny plays a cynical, sarcastic, reckless writer who is the author of a novel, which gets turned into a candy-coated Hollywood blockbuster (which he hates), shenanigans ensue, dark comedy all around, I’m in heaven.
Every episode reminded me how much I miss writing. Just putting words on paper was what I was meant to do, and I hadn’t done it in ages.
And don’t laugh, because Scrubs (the TV show) was what inspired me to go into medicine, and here I am, eleven years later, in the field I love. Because of a show.
I missed writing, and I told Justin (Husband) that, and he wholeheartedly encouraged me to get back into it. Even if I only take five minutes a day to journal how my day went, or one thing that pissed me off, or made me happy.
I’ve put off going back to writing over and over, because I feel like I can’t sort out my brain enough to even know how to start. Even now, as I write this, I feel awkward and clumsy. My sentence structures are far less than perfect, my content is completely boring, and my verbiage is not even a little impressive.
But at least I’m writing again. At least I’m doing the thing that I love to do more than anything.
As I said in the paragraphs above, I have no idea what I’m going to do as I get back into this. But I know, for my mind and my soul, I need to.
I miss making the words do the things.