I’ve been resisting writing a post this week. It wasn’t a conscious decision. I told myself I needed to write, put it on my calendar and various to-do lists. Yet every day, something else seemed more important.
My revision hours are more of a priority, I thought. I should spend time with my manuscript. I don’t have anything to say right now, maybe if I spend a couple hours on Twitter and Facebook I’ll get some ideas. I need to brush the dogs. I need to clean my house. I need inspiration, maybe I should watch some more Doctor Who. (Okay, I don’t feel so bad about that one…)
All of these excuses flooded my mind. None had anything to do with why I didn’t want to post.
You see, last Saturday marked the 19th anniversary of my brother’s death. I was in high school when my nearest brother in age died in a car accident on icy roads in Minnesota. No matter how much time passes, no matter how okay I think I am, February rolls around and I feel an invisible force slowing me, drawing me into myself. Inevitably, I stop writing.
I’ve been able to put in my revision hours (though I am behind on those as well), because it’s easy for me to turn on the logical, critical part of my mind. My inner editor is very good at shutting out emotions. I’m still at the evaluation stage, so I’m not cutting or writing new material yet. But a blog post? That meant creating, and I knew that opening myself up–no matter the topic–would force me to feel.
So here I am, still feeling a bit broken after all these years. I’ve lived over half my life without my big brother’s teasing and advice, without his crooked grin and serious eyes. We used to joke that Brian was an old man when he was born. He could be my biggest supporter, but always thought he needed to be the voice of reason when I was pursuing creative activities like writing, music, and theater. He used to tell me to keep writing, but have a back-up plan.
Why as an adult do I let myself hear that in reverse? I tell myself that I need to pursue a more lucrative, supposedly stable career, and put my writing on the back burner. But that wasn’t what my brother meant, and it isn’t what I need to make myself happy. He always wanted me to succeed, and believed I could and should. He feared the rest of the world wouldn’t be as supportive of my dreams as he was, though. And like the great man he was, he wanted only the best for his baby sister.
Why am I telling you all this? Selfishly, because I just need to share. But also, because others might be fighting pain and grief and trying to live up to expectations of those they love. I may never achieve everything I want to, but then again, I just might. If I spend all my time worrying about whether my brother would be proud of my accomplishments (or lack thereof), I won’t create anything new, and won’t be able to move through this pain to find peace.
So that’s my rambling update. Here are the numbers for my month so far. I’m up to about seven hours of revision work for the month, have attended two write-ins, and this is my second blog post. I’ve also shed quite a few tears, prayed a lot, and spent time just connecting with my writer friends both online and in person. I’m so thankful for these connections. I’ve tried to keep up with my fellow Write Motivation writers’ posts, too. I’ve read nearly everyone’s posts at least once. You’re an amazing bunch! Thank you all for being so supportive of me and each other!