Tuesday, August 28, 2018

Of Puppet Shows and Unicorn Tears

My baby girl went off to kindergarten today.

I've been looking forward to this day for a while, expecting to relish in the 40 hours a week - minus the occasional workday - I'd have to myself. I've long hoped to rekindle my stalled writing hobby. I've tried over the years since kids came along, only to fizzle away. My creative energy had been sucked dry, replaced with the demands of youngsters, insisting on playing unicorns; relishing in puppet shows and lightsaber duels. I would take my laptop on the road, spend days alone in hotels and never take the computer from its case. Great ideas - I thought - never meandered to the page. Thus, I decided, maybe I don't care about writing anymore. Maybe everything I ever had has already been used up. But with kids in school and time once more uncommitted, I looked forward to that lingering spark. All it needed was fuel. And time. But I would need to get into the mindset of a writer. When I wrote in the past I thought about it all day. I read blogs and writer's forums and researched agents and genres and went to conferences and critique groups and these things all made me a better writer and gave me things to look forward to. And then I was a dad and all those things began dropping from my life. And I realized as this day of freedom loomed that, to be a writer, I had to think again like a writer. I had to not only write, but read and join groups and research agents and go to conferences and do all those things that made me a writer and now that I had the time to do those things I couldn't wait to start doing them all again. And maybe this time it would be different.  Maybe I'll finish all my unfinished manuscripts. Maybe I'll never publish anything again. Maybe no one will ever read anything I write and maybe I won't care because I always enjoyed the writing so much more than the having-it-read and maybe without expectations it will be that much better and creativity will soar and I'll enjoy my days writing and my evenings dadding and I won't just sit around feeling like something's been lost.

And I walked home from the bus stop this morning to a house too quiet. No puppets were calling. No unicorns brayed. No one asked me to play. I'm just sitting around feeling like something's been lost.

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