The first rule of write club is you don’t talk about write club.
Truly, it’s a secret society of sorts – to be a writer in a sea of non-writers. It’s like every time I pick up a pen or sit down at the monitor, I take an oath of silence.
It’s painful not to talk about what you’re planning to write – what you aspire to communicate to a wider audience. I come up with at least one new book idea every day. But I’m a mom and a teacher, so those ideas don’t necessarily have an appropriate place to be entertained. And time, well, what’s that?
If you, too, are a writer, perhaps you also mull over ideas, stories – really any inspiration that strikes you – for infinite weeks?
Should I write a book?
How can I blog and write a book at the same time?
Should I just try something shorter like poetry?
This is the great difficulty with writing: you spend your days battling words, the very things that – once fully realized – can bring peace.
I ran into a former student of mine a few weeks ago. He’s been very successful in the two years since he’s been in my course.
What are you up to, Professor Fortenberry?
After a few seconds, my overtired brain began to fire again.
“Well, I have a blog now.” Only my response didn’t seem to capture my deeper ambitions. “And I am planning to begin my first book this summer.”
Conviction fell upon me immediately. Why haven’t I started, in earnest, writing the narrative that follows me everywhere? I contemplate the characters when I run. I consider the soundtrack if it becomes a major motion picture (We can all dream, right?) during my errands around town.
But then reality hits. Lauren, you actually have to start writing.
The second rule of write club is you don’t talk about the insecurities.
Lately, I have rediscovered my passion for reading. Last month I read three books (Hillbilly Elegy, The Road to Character, and #TheArtofTwitter), and I am currently in the middle of two: Slaughterhouse Five and Decision Points. I often ask myself: What would have happened if these authors had lost themselves in write club?
In my heart, I have faith that the words will come when I realize I cannot escape them – when I prioritize revisiting the uncomfortable growth that adulthood requires. The paradox, however, continues to ring true: my two beautiful distractions are my greatest inspiration. And I have to remind myself that the story I carry needs to be told.
And, one day soon, two not-so-little people will be eager to hear it.
One Year Ago: Chasing the Avocado