The Life of a Writer

I used to think of myself as a writer. It wasn’t just something I did. It was something I was, down to my core. It was a perspective on life and a way of experiencing things.

I didn’t think that my status as a writer could ever be revoked. As far as I was concerned, I was born with a pen in my hand and I would die with one there, too. There was no question about it, and that was comforting. It was something that I could hold close during tumultuous, confusing parts of my life.

Then, when I moved to Bulgaria I stopped writing quite as much. In some ways, I didn’t feel safe writing about things I had written about before- sex, drugs, and counterculture seemed far away from my life and from my pen. In other ways I was busy and distracted. But most of all, I lost the things that forced me to write- the confusion, the struggle. Life in Bulgaria has been… easy.

When I got married and that ridiculous search for a soulmate ended, I became even more settled and had even less to say. Then I had a baby and the time to write vanished.

Yesterday, when I had time to myself, I finally had the urge to write again. Not just a need to write in order to feel like a writer, but the urge to actually explore and say something. To commune with paper. It was a wonderful feeling, which I have missed these past few years. It made me realize that being a writer (a real writer, not a “professional writer” who writes meaningless how-to articles) take a whole lot more time and energy than simply finding an hour of time to write each day.

Being a writer requires a certain amount of solitude and introspection, which I just cannot seem to get as the mother of a young child. It requires that extra perception of events. It is a morning to night kind of lifestyle, and it is demanding. It doesn’t like sharing my time with people or other crafts.

Does it mean I am no longer a writer? It feels like it. I feel so far from writing. Like it is a stranger. And I am unsure if I will ever get it back the way I had it years ago. But yesterday did give me a glimmer of hope. That maybe it is buried somewhere below the thing that I call life.

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