The return key on my keyboard is stuck. It still works, but it’s tricky; it’s compromised.
Maybe the same can be said for my writing, which lately has felt stiff, problematic. Uninspired. I think about what I’ve written here in the last months and I’m not impressed. I don’t think any of it is bad, per se, but it’s not writing that is really going to move anyone; it’s not writing that is going to change anything, a perspective or an opinion or the way that someone’s day unfolds. I don’t think it’s writing that is building community or that really reaches out and grabs hold of the heart of a stranger, connecting us despite invisibility.
I think, when I started this blog, that’s what I hoped would happen. At times, I don’t doubt that it has. But now I am wondering about my intention here. It’s not my blog’s fault, and the problem isn’t that I’m standing in one place whereas when I started The Wandering Introvert, my goal was to travel often. Maybe it’s that I edit myself more than I used to; maybe it’s that I’m careful about what I say, conscious of my roles as a member of this in-person community, as an employee, as a mother.
Whatever it is, I need to reenergize my writing, both in this space and in the fiction, non-fiction, and poetry that I create. I’ve written a lot about time recently, and I can’t help but be conscious of it; it’s passing so quickly and is reflected so visibly in my child’s growth. The gray in my hair is undeniable; my child is already starting to put together sentences.
When I was a little girl, I wanted to write books. As an adult, I still want that, but writing is both more complicated and simpler than that now. The validation is not external anymore; I do it mainly for me. I want to write consistently, and I aim to write well; Hemingway’s idea of one true sentence goes through my mind endlessly. (And oh, how I long to gaze at Paris as I contemplate all this, as he did.)
The truest sentence that you know.
There is obviously a way to get the key on my keyboard to work again well; there is some way to get it unstuck. The same is true for my writing. I have been a writer, in some capacity, since about the age of six; it’s one of the longest commitments in my life. And so I’ll keep working at it.
That is what we can do, isn’t it? We give ourselves a gift when we tend to that which makes us feel alive. We give ourselves a gift, when we allow ourselves to grow.