the writing monster

Today I’m thinking about how tough it is to write.

I’m not talking about coming up with ideas or characters, or writer’s block, or about trying to get published, or even about developing as a writer. I’m talking about carving out the time to sit down and (literally or metaphorically) put pen to paper.

I’m dating someone, someone who I love very much. I love spending time with her and, frankly, I’m selfish about it. I don’t like ignoring her so that I can write. I have a full-time job, so I can’t write during traditional work hours. Nope. I have to hide away with my laptop after hours or on weekends in order to get any work done on a story, post or what might one day be a book.

I don’t like that.

The real bitch of it is that I want to write. I feel driven to it. I desire to write, to tell stories, to communicate truth in some way that will stick with people. I don’t care about being a famous writer or a rich writer, just a good writer—good in that I don’t butcher language and good in that my message is worth something. A good message.

I believe it is important for me to write. That I need to do it. It’s therapeutic and it’s also something I feel meant for.

But I work all day and I come home and the war inside me wages. I want to relax, to spend time with the one I love and to wind down, but I also want to write and feel an obligation to. I’ll never finish the book I don’t start, you know. Other people come home from work and feel no impulse to do more work, save the typical around-the-house kind of chores. I feel compelled to produce literature. It’s weird when you think about it, and more than a little overwhelming.

And that’s how I feel some days: overwhelmed. That’s how I feel today. Ironically, while this certainly isn’t literature, the act of writing this post means that I have written something today and will make it easier for me to go about my day and spend time with my girl and also feel like I was true to that inner part of myself that must, whether I feel like it or not, write.

Of course, the writing monster doesn’t sleep long. He’ll be hungry for words again tomorrow and I’ll have to feed him again or risk his sometimes rough treatment of my delicate psyche. I tell you, life would be easier if I had no ambition.

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