On my handy-dandy schedule of blog post topics for today is something serious and author/reader centric. It’s an important subject. . .and we’ll talk about it next week. Because today, I want to talk about the importance of life.
I love to write. Can you tell by how many books I publish? I hope so. Because it’s true; it’s my passion, and I’m grateful beyond the telling for the opportunity to do it. Matter of fact, sometimes I love it so much I forget to stop doing it.
That’s right, folks. I sit down here in my comfy computer chair (with or without cats) and sometimes I don’t get up for more hours than I care to tell you. And then I crawl into bed and get up the next morning and do it all over again.
I’m not complaining one bit. But I’ve been reminded of an essential truth recently: I cannot be the writer I want to be if I stop living. And life, as it turns out, mostly happens away from my computer and comfy chair.
I knew this a little. I’d have a twinge of reminder when I finished a book and looked around blinking at the world that had continued to spin without my knowledge or participation. When folding laundry and cleaning my closet were a treat I allowed myself after I’d met a certain writing goal, I knew things were bad.
Today in the midst of deadlines and craziness and interviews and emails and demands, I took a day and spent it with a dear friend who’s in town from Montreal for a short time. I only see Anne-Marie about once every two years. I treasure those times, and today, I ignored all the should-bes and did the wanna-dos. We stayed up late chatting last night. Got up this morning and sat on the back porch, looking out over the lake. Went to the outlets and raided Vera Bradley. Drove to the beach, had a beer and burger, and then took a long walk along the water. Drove home, played cards as I made dinner, ate ice cream and then talked some more.
And I don’t regret it at all.
I may not have typed a single word today, but I promise, when I hit the keyboard later this week, what I write will be better. Richer. Stronger. Because a writer can’t write if she ignores life.
And that, darling reader, applies to all of us. Read, by all means. Enjoy your movie and your television. But then put down the book, turn off the TV and go spend some time talking to real people. Take a walk. Go to the grocery store and strike up a conversation. Grab coffee with a friend you haven’t seen in weeks. Talk to your family and really listen to what they say. Play a game. Laugh. Love.