Playing 'keep away' with myself

Remember when you were in elementary, or junior high school? There was that thing we would do to people, where someone would take something of yours, and then toss it back and forth with a friend so that you ran around in circles, trying to get it back and never succeeding.

It’s been one of those weird days. All weekend, I’ve been looking forward to Sunday, because I was convinced that I had the whole day to write. What I was really doing was engaging in a giant game of keep away.

Because it turned out my brain really wanted to write, but my sense of responsibility and that whole ‘being an adult’ thing conspired to make writing a guilt-laden exercise in good old Maritime Calvinism. There was laundry to do, and pony feed to haul to the barn, and receipts to be sorted for income tax, and the wood stove to empty of ashes. As I sit here, thinking it would be nice to finish that scene in Spooktacular where Hal sees David again, I’m thinking that I really need to change the water in the fish tank. And the laundry is washed and dried, but not folded. Nor have my floors been swept since Thursday.

But I’ve been a good girl. I got some stuff done. Not everything, but you can’t have it all. And the promise I made to myself, to make sure there was some time for writing each day, still needs to be kept. Because, at the end of the day, there’s always one more thing you can do. You can ‘one more thing’ yourself right out of the writing profession, if you aren’t careful.

I don’t want to do that. Even as a part-time job, it often feels so much more real to me than the full-time one. Maybe someday, if I’m lucky and work hard at my craft, it can become my full-time job. In the meantime, I refuse to do one more thing, until I’ve had my chance to write.

About the author: Kate Lowell

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