I have been writing for quite some time.
Possibly since the moment I could figure out simply how to do it.
I may even have bins and bins of writing collecting mold in a storage unit right now or slowly being deleted in my dropbox. The notebooks of eavesdropping, emotional explosion and microscopic observations are amongst my most sacredly treasured things. They sit in there, held tight in a trunk I have lost the key to and in waterproof plastic tubs ,safe from the murderous touch of a burst pipe.
As I am currently traveling the USA and living in a camper out on the road, I worry about those pages. I worry about them a lot. I often times wonder if I should have put them in a safety deposit box , not ever thinking about my diamond tennis bracelet or my kids’ birth certificates.
And yet they sit there… thousands of miles away… screaming to get out.
I have attempted to write a complete book enough times to drive a human to insanity , but from what I hear, that is the only way someone can complete a book.
The insanity of rewriting the same book over and over again led me to take a writing class where I would eventually join a writing group. It has been the same four women meeting regularly and writing alongside me for almost a decade. Listening to the same chapter three and four times, from different perspectives and then after a few years, I would end up reverting back to the original. They even listened while I decided to attempt to assemble my book from the place of the future and working backward into the past. Those women are true friends.
I have attended expensive writing retreats held by a New York Times Best Selling author. Convincing my husband that it would be a gift that would stretch over the next year of Christmas, anniversary, mother’s day and birthday gifts. When he said “ No” with obvious financial justification, we stayed silent for the remainder of the dinner. But between the silence, streaming tears and two children not equipped to sit in a restaurant , he quickly changed his mind about the importance of money.
I hired a writing coach recommended by one of the top editors in the country. The coach was thorough and a fantastic fit ,but within a few months the writing went back on the shelf. Covid had struck us in the same way it had struck so many others- Right square in the delusions of our marriage.
For a year now we have been on the road, traveling the United States with our children and plethora of pets. In my mind, living in a four hundred square foot cardboard box on wheels has again derailed me.
But the book doesn’t care, she still sits in her boxes and screams.
I can’t take the haunting anymore. The hundreds of thousands of words turned over and over a million times. Every time one of my children speak or a memory surfaces, more words threaten to leave my consciousness if I don’t pull the car over and find an old Walmart receipt and magic marker to write notes on. The threats of losing the words are often carried out for the simple reason that the ice cream in melting in the back seat or I’m hit in the head by a piece of trash. The timeline of motherhood has proven to have no rules it lives by.
But what do I do with all those pages, where should I place it all?
I don’t belong in a magazine and blog is such an ugly sounding word. And so, since I obviously can’t finish the book , this is where I will just place all those pages.
But before we continue, please know the following:
I am most definitely suffering from some kind of grammatical inability .
I have a need for excessive spacing.
I understand that I might gain or lose friends due to the stories I tell.
This is a place of imperfection and where nothing is actually finished.
The acts of writing a book and not writing a book might kill me so this is an attempt at keeping me alive.
But mostly this place is an attempt at opening the gate for all the words I have ever written.
I just hope they will rush on through. That they will no longer need to rattle the bars and scream for their liberty so loudly.
However, not hearing their loud voices also scares me.