It’s Not Easy

This weekend has been a gift in so many ways. I started a pretty big project last month and it needs a few big blocks of time and attention.  Along the way, I’m finding that Mark Twain’s strategy is a little more difficult than he made it seem with “Writing is easy. Just cross out all the wrong words.”

Writing a book is hard. REALLY HARD. This isn’t news to me.  I read writers, I know writers, I’m related to writers and they are all in agreement with me and in apparent disagreement with Mr. Twain.  Of course, there may have been a hint of irony in his words… he was known for a bit of that.

Anyway, back to the weekend. Kristie took the kids up to Camp Wonderland in Massachusetts and gave me the house. It was glorious. I cooked, I ate, I wrote, I watched a minimal amount of TV and things were going well.

On Saturday, I woke up at 7AM, without an alarm and got right to it.  I welcomed the silence. I found a groove and made a lot of progress. Two hours of reading and ten hours of writing led to seven or eight thousand words, most of which were actually in the general direction of what I was hoping for. I welcomed the distance. I spread things out in the space of my head and went back and forth from this to that, making connections and bringing things together. I welcomed being alone. In fact, I barely noticed it. I was completely wrapped up in moving forward, making discoveries, telling stories.

Today was a different story. Today, the silence was deafening. The distance was infinite. The loneliness was oppressive.

There was no groove today. The vast spaces in my own head became small and full and confused. Today, there were no stories, only echoes. There were no discoveries, only shadows. There was no forward.

It wasn’t a waste, not by any stretch of the imagination. I wouldn’t give it up for anything. But I missed my world. I missed the little feet and the little voices. I missed “Daddy, can you help us on the Xbox with Lego fill-in-the-blank?” I missed the 6AM, unrequested wake-up call whispering intently, “Can I watch TV?”   I missed the near heart attack and whispering back, “Not yet. Go back to bed.”

I’m glad for these days. Good things have happened. Things were clarified for me in a lot of ways, the book included.  I see how some things are that I didn’t before.  Things were realized, struggles undone, decisions made. It wasn’t what I thought it would be, but if I got the chance to do it over, I don’t think I’d do it any other way.

I’m glad they’re coming home tomorrow. It gets pretty crazy, but it’s our crazy and I need it.



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