In the struggle (on writing)

Ever since I was a little girl, I’ve been a writer. Not a fantastic one, but a writer still. 

Under my bed there’s a lock box filled with old diaries from my childhood and teenage years. I’ve long since stopped caring about the secrets there but part of me still wants to protect the heart of the little girl who wrote them, so I keep them under lock and key.

My first works were made-up stories about the squirrels in the trees by my house and biographies of my late hamsters. I’d staple together their pages and call them books.

As a news reporter for the past six years I’ve had an outlet, even if it was just writing about the days’ happenings. I lost that when I became an editor a few months ago. But it seems like lately I’ve lost more than an outlet, I’ve lost the ability to write altogether.

I go to all my usual writing spots and try to string words into sentences, sentences into paragraphs, to no avail. It’s not even that I don’t have stories to tell; I do. They say ‘write what you know,’ but sometimes what you know is too heavy to lift off your shoulders and put on a page.

So I struggle. I sit at the keys and type a little before letting my mind wander, back to the days when what I knew were squirrels and late, beloved hamsters. When the news was what I wrote about and it was enough.

I think maybe that’s what writing is about, the struggle. The discipline of getting into the trenches with your thoughts and these building blocks we call words and trying to make something reflective of your subject matter.

So I’ll stay a little longer, keep my fingers hovering over the keeps, or pushing a pencil across the page.

And wait for the words to come.

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