On (not) writing: change of plans

I'm a reader, not a writer, I say sometimes now. But of course that's not true, or not always true, as these very words attest. It's more complicated than that.

There was a point when I stopped trying to write. Eventually I started again, surreptitiously, but it was a poisoned time of my life. I wasn't the writer in the relationship, so it just wasn't my business to write -- even if the other party wasn't successful, still it was her shot to take. I felt badly if it went well for me, like I didn't deserve it. That same attitude infected other parts of my life, too, and while I've grown a lot, in some ways I'm still recovering. Poison abides.

It was freeing to give up the struggle this time, a couple of years ago. Fatigue was a big part of it, circumstances most of the rest. I couldn't be creative, teaching as much as I was (1.75 times full-time), and being as involved a father, so it was a time-saver not to make the effort anymore. Plus I didn't want to write about -- but couldn't stop thinking about -- the different darknesses I've been through over the years. "I'm a reader, not a writer" meant I could work, and parent, and think, peacefully and alone.

Only I'm not alone, not in my personal life and not in ... however one best refers to a communal sense of actual, implied, and ideal social obligations and networks. So it starts now. I'm a reader, and I'm a writer, too. We'll start with some free writing exercises, see where I want to go, and see what happens.

I've given up too many years already to ghosts and demons.


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