I’m good at procrastinating. In fact, I’m so good at it that I procrastinated on starting this blog for about two months. I’m not always this way, I promise – There’s a few things in life that I always do right away. One is get dressed in the morning, because I’ve always hated pajamas. The other is writing when I feel like writing.
That right there is why I decided to start the blog in the first place. The problem is, keeping a blog involves writing, and writing involves having something to write about. So why keep a blog until I have something to talk about? That’s what I was waiting for. The more I tell myself that, the less it sounds like I was just putting it off.
On the other hand, I’ve never been good at speaking as myself. Being a writer doesn’t mean my own voice has to be all that articulate. I’d like to think I handle my words okay, but if I don’t have a story to tell, more often than not, nothing comes out at all. So why is all of this coming out now? That’s because I have a story to tell. A story about stories.
I began writing my first book when I was sixteen. Yes, I was that kid, shutting myself up in my bedroom on a sunny day so I could jot down everything that popped into my head, without being disturbed. Coming from a large family, there were often disturbances, most of them being named after my younger siblings. There were times my parents would shoo me outside, but it didn’t really make a difference. All that meant was it was a sunny day, and now I was sitting in the tree house or in a swing, thinking up my stories there. For several years, those stories were my life.
Then something happened. Something wondrous, and something terrible: I grew up.
All of a sudden, I was responsible. I was out of school and in a job, paying bills and saving money that inevitably was spent on grown-up things like car repairs. The next thing I knew, not only was I grown up, I was married. All of a sudden I didn’t have time for things like daydreaming and writing. I had a house to keep and a husband to look after. For a while, that was all I thought about.
Until this summer.
One morning I woke up with a nagging thought in my head. No, it wasn’t a thought… it was a voice. It was half a dozen voices, at least. Characters from stories that I’d begun and forgotten, brushed aside in my pursuit of a “normal” grown-up life. What about us? the voices asked. What about our stories? Don’t you want people to know what happens next? And that was when I realized that in all my effort to lead a grown-up life, I’d left my life behind. My life was writing, my life was my stories, my life was the books I’d begun and set aside.
Well. If there’s one thing I’ve learned in my years of being a grown-up, it’s that I can do whatever I want, and nobody can stop me. If I want to eat ice cream for breakfast, ha! Mom can’t stop me, she’s four hundred miles away! If I want to sleep until noon on my day off, ha! I can unplug my alarm clock, and no one can chide me for it! So if I want to finish writing a book, who’s going to keep me from it? Okay, okay… to be perfectly honest, my employer might slow me down. But a job won’t stop me. Nothing can!
I’m two chapters out from completing my first novel, and nothing can stop me.
So this is the beginning of my real grown-up life. Living up to my goals, picking up those old stories I’d all but forgotten, and eating ice cream for breakfast.
This is gonna rock.