Out There Living

Many fine people were out there living, people whose consciences permitted them to sleep at night despite their not having written a decent sentence that day, or ever.
— Annie Dillard, The Writing Life

Whether I would have wished this upon myself or not, I am in the writing life. It would be easier to never worry with writing original thoughts, to never sit down at my writing desk while Sailor sleeps and set my timer for 45 minutes and wonder what the blank page will teach me today.

Why this again? What does it matter if I write or not?

What matters is that I keep up my writing practice, even if I am stumbling in the dark most days. I have no idea where this is going.

I think Ms. Goldberg meant line as in sentence, but I have a storyline in me and it evidently won’t go away until I go deep inside myself and drag it out. It’s difficult and scary to not know how to find the time to write. It’s discouraging to be wondering all the time what the point of my writing is.

Why do I love words so much? How do I find the way out and through with my own words? And what must the arrangement of my life be to give the words their say?

I could just be a fine person out there living, but instead I’m a fine person sitting in my brown wooden chair at my white Ikea writing table trying to figure out what this writing life is for.

Two hundred fifty words in forty-five minutes most days each week is the great teacher at the moment, but the teacher continues to ask me every day, What’s next?