Random thoughts from an animal-loving French prof / mom of three on things she finds beautiful, funny, sad, or strange.

Friday, November 4, 2016

On (not) being a writer

I don't know when I first thought I wanted to be a writer.

Scratch that.

I don't know when I started writing.

Scratch that too.

I am not a writer. I don't even know if I want to be one. I just write. Always have, always will.

Ahhhh... Now we're on to something. Not that the nature of this "something" is especially clear, of course. After all, it's not as if I've never seen my name in print. As an academic, I have published a fair number of articles and book chapters over the years. That counts, right? Then there is this blog, whose posts do not appear magically out of cyber-thin air. Quite the contrary– much like academic writing, channeling these thoughts through pen onto paper actually requires fairly serious butt-in-chair time (yes, I am that odd creature who writes most of her blog posts longhand).

Okay then. Perhaps I am in fact a writer. Cool. Well, cool except for one little problem. I haven't yet written the thing I want to write. I am possessed by a pretty huge, mostly true story that's just dying to get out. I'm talking wakes me up in the middle of the night just to remind me it's still here. In case, you know, my memory was wiped by space aliens or I somehow otherwise managed to forget. As if. Anyway, it's here, it's real, and I bet at least a few people would read it if I could just coax it out. Yep. Coax. As badly as it wants out in the dead of night, it is awfully shy when it sees my open notebook. Go figure.

This push-and-pull has been going on for a while now. As in years. And it's time for it to end. This story is going to get the attention it deserves, and not just "when I have the time" (as if that were a thing!). To make that happen, I've done two things. One, I found a writing group. Well, it found me. Point is, I now have a safe and structured writing home where my story and I will be accountable to each other. And two, I've decided to nurture other people's stories by writing for and managing the ATN blog. ATN stands for The Attachment & Trauma Network, an organization of not-so-ordinary angels who have thrown many a lifeline to families just like mine.

So... stay tuned. It's going to happen. I will wrestle my story into a book or die trying. Meanwhile, please, check us out at ATN. It's an amazing place.

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