When I tell people I’m a writer, they sometimes say – “That would be torture – just to sit and write all day.”
For me it would be torture not to write. Then I’d have to say all the things I think. Like today, EVERYONE is irritating me. But I can’t tell them this. I can’t say, “Stop talking. You are plucking my very last nerve and right now your voice is grating on my soul.” Instead, I write it. I can even post it and no one would even know that I was talking about them. They’d think I was talking about that other person.
Which brings me to another point. All these people who say they hate writing – these very same people are crafting clever 140 character declarations and anecdotes and narrations of their lives on Twitter. Do you know how hard it is to write something clever in 140 characters? Much easier to do it in 100,000 words.
Some mornings I can’t even speak to anyone until I get to my keyboard or my journal. I have to spew out all the chaos zooming around my brain so I can think clearly and be a nice person. If I write it down, I can let it go and I won’t say things like, “SHUT UP, SHUT UP, SHUT UP! Go talk to the dog instead of me! You’re ruining everything!”
My husband works from home occasionally. When he walks in my office to offer to fix me a cup of tea and I’m in the middle of writing a scene or an essay, my blood boils. That is not the socially acceptable response to a thoughtful person offering to make you tea. I freeze, trying to hold my thought and speak to him at the same time. Usually I nod and pray that he will now SHUT UP and GO AWAY. I pray this silently which is probably a good thing for my marriage.
So maybe the writing is compulsive. Or maybe it is therapy. Or possibly it’s an addiction. I believe it makes me a nicer person. I believe it keeps me sane. I believe that without it I would have no friends and my children would have run away by now. My husband is generally more tolerant. I’ve learned this because he doesn’t SHUT UP AND GO AWAY even if I slip up and actually say that. I guess we’re meant for each other.