Because It Was All I Could Think About

Posted: November 27, 2015 by Rachel

I take my seat on the worn, red chair with the sliver of sunlight shining on it, and pull my MacBook from my purse. I’ve positioned myself in the fiction section between shelves sixteen and seventeen, somewhere amongst Davis-Downs and Doyle-Evaristo. I can see the covers of Evanovich and Griffin, Grisham and Eugenides; the latter being one of my favorite recent reads. My love of writing is succeeded only by my love of reading, so it’s no real surprise that I like to settle in here at the library to write down the words swimming in my head. The only thing that would make this better is if I had a coffee in hand, but I drove right past three Starbucks on the way here without it crossing my mind.

I’ll have to do without. 

Yesterday my husband told me that he is in awe of the writing that I have done this year. He “doesn’t know how I do it.” Sometimes I’m tempted to agree with him, and find myself wonder how I do it day after day, but then I remember that I simply can’t not.

I’m a bit of a fritter-er. I jump from one thing to the next without much thought, without finishing one project. I used to think that it meant something was wrong with me, but something I read lately – of course, I read it – reminded me that it only means my interests are vast. I want to dip my toes in everything to see if it’s something I could like. A lot of the time it isn’t, and that’s okay; it’s oddly comforting to know that I at least tried. 

But sometimes that little dip of my toes isn’t enough, and I want to jump in. For years – most of my childhood and adult life, really – I was simply dipping my toes in when it came to writing. Until this year. 

Two thousand and fifteen. I jumped right in, feet first, became fully submerged. And I don’t think I can ever look back. 

Writers are always asked why they want to write. Do they want to be famous? Are they in it for the money? Maybe they want to write that book that they wish existed. Maybe they’re inspired by all the reading they do. 

I’m not sure where I fit in just yet. Right now, I’m just doing it for the love of the game. Maybe one day, years from now, I’ll settle in here at the library again; maybe I’ll look for the same spot, between shelves sixteen and seventeen, running my fingers along the cool, black shelving until finding what I came for: Del, Rachel. 

Wouldn’t that be a lovely sight? 

Wouldn’t that be a lovely feeling? 

Wouldn’t that just make all the hard work worth it? The late nights, the cramped hands, the long ago out of control coffee consumption, the missed outings with friends; wouldn’t it all be justified? 

I like to think so. 

And that’s why I keep writing, coffee or no coffee.

Posted: September 23, 2015 by Rachel

“All I know for certain is that this is how I want to spend my life – collaborating to the best of my ability with forces of inspiration that I can neither see, nor prove, nor command, nor understand.

It’s a strange line of work, admittedly.

I cannot think of a better way to pass my days.”

– Elizabeth Gilbert, Big Magic

Posted: September 12, 2015 by Rachel

“I think of writing simply in terms of pleasure. It’s the most important thing in my life: making things. Much as I love my husband and children, I love them only because I am the person who makes these things. And because that person does that all the time, that person is able to love all these people.”

– A.S. Byatt