The Writer Who Doesn’t Write

Friday, 4:48 am

There are many writers who don’t write. This is the story of one of them. The others have stories, too. But they haven’t written them. Their stories may be the same, or different. We’ll probably never know.

There is a writer who doesn’t write. Her inspiration comes to her in bursts. Prose, on the subway. Poetry, on her sleepless pillow. She writes things out in her head, but she never truly writes.

She has, as a writer might say, a facility with words. She has oceans of ideas. The thought of writing fills her with passions that don’t often seep into her daily life.

But writing is risky.

At 4 am, words strike her. She likes them. They speak to her, and of her. Maybe they would speak to someone else, too. That is her secret wish. That if she were to write them down, they could be read. That those that also feel like her, would see them. And that her words could connect disparate people and make them, her, feel wonderfully human.

Her words are sad, sometimes. They are vulnerable and reflect her humanity, which means they are flawed. She is very aware of this. She also knows humans are diverse and words often reflect one opinion of many. That opinions can change with more information. That words can’t please everyone.

It’s still 4 am. She finishes a mental essay about a Tough Thing. She lies awake, starting at the ceiling, thinking about other people thinking about this Tough Thing. She, and them, are siloed. Disconnectedness is the opposite of feeling human. She rolls over and goes to sleep, pen never meeting paper. She’s melodramatic, she thinks.

This happens for years.

Then a few years more.

She is older now. Old enough to fuss about lost time. She is a Professional, though. That’s what she likes to believe. She feels that counts for something.

But it’s 4 am and the ideas come. She has mixed feelings. Today, the words aren’t satisfied with imaginary pages. They never were. But now, she knows why. Her age has taught her something: life, and health, is short. She knows “She was nice and fine and never embarrassed herself, I guess” makes for a poor headstone. It makes for a poor life. So she mulls over her words. They are: flawed, melodramatic, sappy, joyous, light, tortured, happy, sometimes wrong, sometimes right. They are human words.  They will only be around for a short time. They could be of no consequence.  But maybe…just maybe, that is enough.

She looks at the clock.

It’s 4:48 am.


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