At around two o’clock on Sunday, shortly after turning on my television and flopping backwards onto my sofa, my phone rang.
“Happy Birthday!” my cousin Erika sang.
“Oh, I can’t. I’m writing,” I said as I watched Tool Academy on mute.
“Cool, have you written a lot?”
“Well, technically I’m thinking about writing.”
Before starting graduate school, I only wrote when I felt inspired. Thought was obviously part of the process but I had always already gotten to a place where I could write without hesitation. Even with my other blog, a site where I once forced myself to post twice a week, I didn’t think all that hard about what I was writing. When you grow up in my mildly dysfunctional family, there’s plenty of material to pull from. But now I am penning a novel I plan to pitch to agents and editors. And just thinking about it makes my armpits get a little damp.
An hour before I needed to leave for my birthday dinner, I wandered to the kitchen to get some water. Standing at the sink, I could hear the hum of my laptop’s fan. I hesitantly sat down at my desk and lowered my hands like a classical pianist preparing to play for a sold out crowd. Then I started. The blank page filled quickly with letters, words, paragraphs. After an hour, I had four pages, perhaps even four pages I might keep!
I saved my draft but left my laptop on. It would be a gentle reminder to write some more when I got home. And exactly three hours later, with my belly full from eating a ridiculous amount of cake in the span of one day, I stumbled through my front door. I kicked off my shoes, threw my hair up in a clip, glanced at my computer. Then I let out a sigh and plopped down on my sofa with a ball of yarn and needles. It wasn’t that I didn’t want to write. Instead, I needed to do some more thinking.