a need to write

fictionSo today I finally learned what it means to be driven to write a story.

I don’t know that I have ever felt that way before, you know, that I absolutely had to sit down and create a piece of fiction. To have a story that haunted me, and gnawed at me, until I had no choice but to put the words down on paper.

I have, of course, often wanted to sit down and write, but I could always allow something to get in the way. It can be really hard to put everything else aside and commit to doing this. It takes energy, and a certain mindset, and a lack of distractions. It wasn’t an artistic need to me, like someone who simply has to play music, or dance, or paint, or whatever… or they risk going slowly insane.

Not today.

After realizing I was getting burned out on my retail side job, the one I was only supposed to have for the holidays, and figuring out that my growing frustration and despair was simply from a lack of having the time to create anything new, I made sure that my single day off this week was one that I would use to create a new story. I really haven’t been able to create anything substantial since November.

There would be no laundry today.
No game design. No facebook chats. No grocery shopping.
No procrastination escape routes via video games

I knew the story that I wanted to tell, I had an outline that consisted of a title and exactly 9 words…

And a kid that decided he could not go to school today because he was sick. I had to go to two different pharmacies to get bubble gum flavored medicine, (that he still almost  refused to take), and buy cookies for my daughters class so that she could celebrate her birthday with her classmates, then deliver said cookies, and set him the sick kid on the couch with a movie, and an alarm to remind me when I needed to stop and pick the other kid up from school.

Today, I needed to write.

I watched on with wonder as my mind dredged up the words from the depths of my subconscious and my fingers dutifully nailed them down on the page. And as I wrote I was pulled into the story that grew and changed as I wrote it and I realized that it was the sort of tale that I absolutely had to tell. It is not deep, it is not earth shaking, but it is funny I hope, and somewhat hopeful, and maybe even a little bit touching.

5069 words later, three trips to the thesaurus, one break for lunch, and another to get my daughter from school, the first draft is done.

I need more days like this.

I need to remember that I am most fulfilled when I am telling a story.
I need to remember to acknowledge the fact that I am driven to write.
And I need to remember that even though time is a precious fleeting commodity,
I can get a heck of a lot done when I shut out the world and let the magic happen.

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