I’m a middle school language arts teacher and last summer, I resolved to forego teaching summer school in order to spend my time writing. Thanks to two excellent blogs, Two Writing Teachers, and Teachers Write!, since last summer I have produced more creative writing more consistently than I ever have.
Even though I have worked as a freelance writer in the past, the writing I am producing now contains far more meaning to me personally, and I can now see a clearer direction of where my writing is headed, although I am unable to define that direction right now. But I’m okay with that.
I am also okay with: not knowing where a piece is headed even when I’ve invested many hours in it. Even when I’ve been disciplined enough to play with the point of view or the sequence of events to gauge the effects of those changes. Even when I’ve known that the experimentation may be tossed out in the end after all. Even when I know that few people, if any, may read it, like it, recommend it, or share it.
Writing is exhausting in the same way that a 5,000-piece jigsaw puzzle is exhausting. I search and search for that one piece that I know is there if I look hard enough. Finally, I find it, fit it in, and the picture is a little clearer. Taking all this time to do all this thinking is hard because I don’t naturally have the necessary patience. It’s just so dang hard (insert more whining here). It’s much easier to read, or watch t.v., or eat, or do laundry, or grade papers, or go for a walk, or bake bread, or clean the windows. Anything is easier than writing. But it’s what I do.