I’ve had a lot of trouble feeling like a proper writer lately. I work with lots of proper writers who do amazing work. My clients are the real deal, and because I’ve spent so little time actually writing lately, I started feeling like a poseur. Which made me even less likely to want to write anything serious. Blog posts are easy, but real stories? I felt like I had forgotten how to write them. I’ve been noodling, but there’s been a definite absence of spark.
And then yesterday happened. I was sitting in the local pizza parlor having a slice and listening to the locals talk about God while something on Fox News was going on about gun rights and I was struck with a seed of an idea. As I drove back to my home office to get some owrk done, the seed took root and kind of exploded all over my brain. I had an overwhelming urge to write. The story was unfolding in front of me rapidly, and I knew if I didn’t grab the dragon by the tail, it was going to escape.
About halfway through, maybe an hour later, the story was disturbing me so much, I tried to stop and get some other work done–I am not really in the habit of writing stories that unsettle me personally, and I found the sensation frightening and a little exciting. I pushed through the discomfort and finished it. The discomfort didn’t go away, but it was added with a grim sense of accomplishment when I finished it.
It’s a filthy little knife-twist of a thing, kind of angry and dark and more than a little vile. But it came from a place inside me I had no idea existed. Not sure I even want to exist, if we’re being honest.
But it bears more exploration, perhaps. I’ll be working on revising the piece tonight and then out into the world it will go to accumulate its achievement badges. Despite all that discomfort, today I feel like a writer again, and I feel my interest in writing topics returning. I was afraid I was on the outside of it all, but all it took one was lightning strike of inspiration to bring the sensation back.
I don’t know what kind of writer I am now. It feels different. But I’m still a writer. I’m relieved to know it.