The Hard Days

When I went to sleep last night, I had no intention of waking five times before morning. Alas, such is motherhood with its mysterious agenda that we are never allowed to glimpse in advance – instead riding haphazardly from one moment to the next.

I climbed into bed happy. I was thankful that my kids were sleeping and excited to tackle a large chunk of writing in the morning, whose outline was still growing as I drifted off. I may have even fantasized about an 8,000 word day, so magnificent was my inspiration… It was all very mellow and sunny, and utterly unrealistic.

The words that I was “saving” for tomorrow have all but vanished in the today. My brain feels heavy and words have little appeal. In fact, as I dragged myself to the kitchen to prepare breakfast for my children, I despised words. Was it only hours ago that I indulged in that total delusion? So, I swore under my breath at their fickle existence, convinced that they were officially my nemesis.

Yet here I sit, hours later, typing away, and this space is serving its purpose, which is to receive what I can produce, every day for twenty-one days (after which, I will be allowed off on Sundays – at least that’s the current rule).

Don’t get me wrong. I’ve been writing. I love it, after all. However, it’s been tinged with guilt for all of the times when I could have and should have and even wanted to, but didn’t.

Why? Because I must embrace the daily practice of writing, novel fodder or not, if I want to achieve my goals in any sane and positive way. Not to mention, the avoidance of it in those times of denial has been eating away at me; a clear sign that I am not serving some critical piece of my higher purpose, whatever that may be.

What I take away is this… On most days, there is simply no muse, but I know I must write without her. Yes, even if I deign to hate her in any given moment for abandoning me in the messiness of the day to day. Hours with her are rare and glorious and should be taken full advantage of, but I am learning, again and again, that the reality of being a “writer” is like most of life – finding it within yourself to get the job done and remembering to cherish what beauty you discover along the way. Even on the really hard days.

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