I haven’t been writing.
For me, this is huge. I hate that I’m not writing. I hate that it’s so easy to do other things instead. I feel like an important part of me is missing.
I have a full time job.I have friends, a boyfriend, responsibilities and relationships to maintain. I need to eat and I need to sleep. I need time to unwind and de-stress after a long day at work, which often means an hour or two of Netflix or destroying things in a video game.
I’ve been thinking a lot about my future, what the plan is, what my goals are. These last few months, I’ve been working hard to move up in my work career. Not just because I want to make more money, but because I want a challenge. I want to learn and grow and I can’t do that by staying put in the same position. I’ve grown as a person in the year plus I’ve been in this job. For the first time in my life, I feel like what I do matters. I have confidence in who I am. I wouldn’t trade that for anything.
Moving up in the company means more work and more stress with less time for other things. Less time to write. I know it’s going to take a lot of work but I know I can handle it.
I was talking about all this with my boyfriend and he asked me a simple question. “Forget making more money. What do you want to do?”
I’ve known the answer to that question since I was 11. I want to write. It’s who I am.
I love my job. I love helping people and fixing problems. But if I’m not doing this job, I’m still me. But who am I if I don’t write? It’s as much a part of me as any other facet of my personality. I am a writer. It’s who I am just as much as saying I’m a geek or an introvert or any other label you could give me.
I’ve described getting back into writing as making up with an old friend. It takes time. You’ve both grown and changed so much. Years have passed and you haven’t had time to grow and adjust together with those changes. You no longer get each other like you used to. Sure, there’s those moments that just click, moments that remind you why you became friends in the first place. And that’s what gives you hope. You keep going, keep working to rebuild that relationship. It takes time and painful effort. One word at a time. One clumsy, awkward sentence after another. Then you discover a bit of magic and it all comes back.
That’s how writing feels to me. When I was a kid, scrawling out stories in one notebook after another, it was easy. I hadn’t developed that inner critic that frowns at each sentence and character. I just wrote. Things happened, characters did stuff. I still have most of what I wrote then. They’re horrible, painful to read. But I keep them to remind myself of where I came from and how much I’ve grown. They’re little pieces of me.
Writing is a struggle now. I can blame it on lack of time or other obligations, but those just become excuses. It comes down to taking the time and whatever medium is handy. I have a smartphone and apps for that. I have sticky notes and paper and a purse full of pens.
Just write, I tell myself. Even if it’s meaningless words. Even if it’s garbage. Just write.
No, I can’t afford to give up my career to write. I have bills to pay and I don’t have the resources to quit and write full time until my writing starts making a profit. I’ve always said that I’m under no illusion that writing will make me a millionaire. Does it happen? Yes. There are success stories out there. But I can’t count on being an instant success. But what I can do is write. Every day.
So, hello world. Amanda is writing again.