Writing might be all I want to do, but not all I need to do. I’m lucky that sometimes I can shift balance to the one foot living in the real world and have it bear the weight of adult responsibilities, while leaving the other to toe creativity’s dark water (I often lean heavily on the shoulder of my wife for that – TY, K). That water is often cold, though, with a wicked undertow, but still, getting those toes into the water is critical. “Our doubts are traitors, and make us lose the good we oft might win by fearing to attempt.” (W Shakespeare)
Sometimes, though, the water is warm and welcoming, like today, when I found a few kind words for each of my stories on Amazon. Garnering feedback is never easy, so I’m happy to read any reviews of my work, positive or negative, because I understand how much effort it takes for anyone to actually post a review. Finding that some people actually liked what they read makes it so much sweeter.
I’m glad both stories resonated with some. Writing is like putting an ear to the ground and feeling distant thunder, and then describing what you are feeling as the sounds you think you might hear, if you were at the source – but you’re never sure if what you feel strumming through the ground is what’s actually happening on the far end, so there’s a lot of trust involved. Often it’s a horrible mess that ends up like flotsam on whitecaps, because you’ve completely misinterpreted the vibrations, but sometimes.. Sometimes what you feel is strong enough to grab you and carry you (or drag you under) all the way across that dark water, those vibrations creating waves and swells that either propel you across or pull you down, but you keep treading, until you feel the rocky upward sloping bed under the toes you first dipped, and you climb onto the far shore, sometimes wading out, more often scrambling on hands and knees, coughing and sputtering, but across and on shore.
And kind words left by strangers are blankets and towels found on that cold shore, and you wrap yourself up and begin to warm, catching your breath and feeling grateful.
And as you stand there, eyes closed and exhausted and wondering if you are wasting your time, wrapped in the kindness of strangers, you can already feel the vibrations through the soles of your feet, as that dark water laps your heels.
Happy new year. Welcome to 2018.