It’s kinda weird. I love to write, and I love having this little scrap of cyberspace to contain it and broadcast it to anyone who happens to wander through. After all I am a first-born, which automatically makes me a teensy bit of an attention-whore. But lately I can’t seem to squeeze out a post for the life of me. Recently, a good friend and subscriber to this blog cautiously asked me if I was still writing. He asked me this because it had been a month or so since he had received any e-mail notifications that I’d published anything, apparently leading him to wonder if perhaps I’d removed him from my subscriber list. Maybe he thought I was writing about him (that would be fun!) and I didn’t want him to read it, or maybe he was pining away for my regular brain downloads. In any case, I assured him that I hadn’t abandoned my blog, nor had I blocked him from seeing anything I’ve written. I just haven’t written anything lately that feels interesting enough to finish or to publish in this blog.
Granted I have been known to enthusiastically start a project and shortly afterwards to abandon it, sometimes with nearly the same enthusiasm. Anyone who knows me well is now grimacing and nodding vigorously (stop that!). But this feels different. I’ve been a talker my whole life (stoppit again!). Words have always seemed to tumble out of me easily and prolifically, sometimes to the amusement of people in my life, and sometimes it seems, to their bewilderment or annoyance (particularly the male people in my life). Like all girls coming of age in the seventies, I wanted to be a famous writer like Laura Ingalls Wilder. I was always writing stories in my head. But whenever I sat down with pen and diary in hand, again and again, all I could eke out would be some maudlin, hackneyed nonsense that didn’t feel interesting or worthy of completion. Mrs. Godfrey, my second grade teacher, wrote on my report card “Chris is an excellent reader and her understanding and ability to do math have steadily improved. Some of her stories lack creativity. I have talked to her about this and have seen some improvement.” then a few months later… ”I feel Chrissy is working to make her stories more creative and ‘meaty’.“ This frustrating inability to translate my thoughts into written word, this so-called inability to “live up to my potential” was a theme that would haunt me throughout my school years. Why was there a disconnect between my garrulousness and bountiful imagination and my ability to get words down on paper?
As a child, I wrote the beginnings of the same old stories over and over again. Usually they were melodramatic tales of woe that involved orphaned children, or as I got older, tawdry stories of unrequited teenage love. Most of them started grandly and trailed off into oblivion before they ever went anywhere.
I don’t want to do that with this blog. I don’t want Misslisted to be another victim of what my sister recently referred to affectionately (and restrainedly) as my “slight A.D.D.”. I am a grown-up woman now (I think.), and like anyone else, the things I excel at and stick with are those which I am passionate about. I would like to keep this blog on that list, and not on the OTHER list which includes making pies, my first marriage, and selling long-term care insurance. Because I LOVE to write. Truly every day as I go about my business I can barely wait to get the stories and thoughts in my head ”on paper”. It’s so disappointing when I can’t make it happen.
At the same time, I don’t really have a goal with writing per se. I do not aspire to write a novel or a memoir, though if someone offered me a job writing a column about parenting teenagers I’d be all over it. I like to write short pieces, and writing helps me to find deeper meaning in the everyday goings-on of my life. It allows me to see things differently, to put structure around things that feel chaotic, and to create and re-create my own existence.
Mostly I am writing this post as a pep-talk to myself to keep going. I’m not enjoying feeling stuck, and like a baseball player in a batting slump, I know it’s all a big ol’ head trip. At this point, best to write something in my blog, ANYTHING, rather than let it languish into oblivion…like that knitting project in my closet…