The number of people I am personally acquainted with that have published works of fiction is becoming staggering and altogether a tad overwhelming. Words flowing everywhere all the while I feel I've used the very last of mine up. It's maddening, really, to feel as though you used the best of the English language in your 20s and on...well, crap, really. Stuff that should never see the light of day.
I read about a woman, recently, who published her first book in her 60s. We won't go into the fact that she died before seeing it in print, we'll just focus on her age. I think, WOW! It really IS not too late. But then I wonder if she came late to the party. Hasn't had this dream pushing her since age 9. And if she did and it took until 60 to publish? Well. Well, then I think she's was a better woman than I at this moment.
The truth of the matter is that the more I journey this road of finding my center, the less I identify with the label "writer". While that may have been true at one point, I don't know that it does anymore. I grow evermore uncomfortable when people ask me what I'm writing. Because the truth of the matter is? It's been MONTHS since anything remotely writerly has flowed. And I honestly feel a shift and that it will not flow again. I feel stuck. And I know this isn't anything I haven't said before, but this is such a sticking point for me. My entire identity - how I've viewed myself since my age could be counted on two hands. And I feel it leaving me and everyone around me picking it up and turning out words that could have been mine had I just had the...what? Time? Nope. I've got the time. Gumption? Talent? Oh, gosh. That's the one that sears my soul, truth be told. I'm little girl lost, pen hovering on that "What do you want to be when you grow up" question.
I told one of my oldest and dearest friends that I quit and she (rightly?) scoffed. Because she is a gorgeous writer and has written with me since kindergarten. She knows this game. She knows how hard it is but she also knows that writing has been ME since I was little. And I don't think she believes me. For that matter, I don't know if I believe me, but, man. What if. What if this isn't me? What if I really am just a housewife with grand illusions pretending to be great. That's a harsh reality to face down.
(perfect opening line, the frames)