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Sunday, 3 March 2013

The choice to write

I've been talking about this a lot recently, to English classes full of teenagers, to book clubs of women my own age, to anyone who wonders "how did you write a book?"

I had to choose it every day, sometimes every hour or even every minute. I still do. When I think about the laundry piling up in corners of the boys' room becoming a habitat for the things that go bump in the night, I have to close the door and choose to write. Or the raised garden bed I emptied of the litter box-- I mean sandbox -- that mocks me and the shriveling herbs I bought three weeks ago to plant in it, I have to park my booty at the computer and pretend the wheelbarrow of chicken poop is still just "aging." To say nothing of the car that kids are leaving snarky messages on, or the leaves that need raking because they cover the dog and chicken poop exactly long enough to be stepped in by said snarky children. I have to choose to write instead of managing all the things that come with being a homeowner, a mom, a wife, a sister, daughter, friend, and sometimes even a human being.

Like this blog, for example. I'm writing this, so I'm not working on Tempting Fate. I had sick kids and a sick husband last week, so I didn't write. It's Sunday and I'm still not working on my book. I'm closer because I actually opened the file and diminished it on my screen. But writing isn't horseshoes or hand grenades. Close to writing isn't doing it. Thinking about the story isn't writing. Even researching for writing isn't putting the words down on paper.

Writing the book is the only writing that counts. Not the blog, not book reviews on Goodreads, not tweets of cool and pithy quotes from other authors. Just the book.


Choosing it now.