There was that time, that once upon a, when I sat on a sofa with my broken foot propped up and old writing journals scattered all around, laptop on lap reading posts from my original blog, Switched At Birth, and decided it would be okay to call myself A Writer.
Those five minutes lasted about five years. I submitted, was published occasionally, even once in The Dead Mule School of Southern Literature and once in Brevity: A Journal of Concise Literary Nonfiction.
I was on fire with the joy of it, this unlikely passion coming on in my mid-fifties. I could imagine this new conversation sustaining me into extreme old age. For a few years, I read everything, wrote everything, started a novel and sketched out plots and characters for three more, started a memoir, signed up for (and never went to) writer’s workshops, signed up for (and only went once) a local writing group.
And it just dribbled away, somehow. Some things were external, like agreeing to help my husband with the mechanics of writing a book when I was in the middle of my own — I learned a degree’s worth of practical knowledge in novel-writing, but the energy drain cannot be denied — all momentum on my project stopped; or a stock market crashing into our retirement that introduced caution at all levels for a while; or my beloved’s diagnosis with a rare form of lymphoma from which he has thank God recovered.
Other culprits were internal. At some level, I simply clutched. And quit.
So this honesty on the page makes me a little nervous. Any of you who have hop-scotched around over the years to find where I might be blogging at a given moment know this is my pattern: come out into the sunshine, onto the small stage, wave a sunny hello, do a little dance, perhaps a reading, show a few pictures and then — nothing. I never call. I never (almost never) write.
A post or two on New Year’s Day is too easy. But I’ve changed the battery in my dead writing practice and it seems there may be life in the old girl yet. Time will tell.