The kids are screaming. There is nothing to cook for dinner because you should have gone to the grocery store yesterday. You screwed up at work. Your sister is mad at you because you never called her back. When life growls at you, you seek refuge.
Everyone has that safe place where you can get away and step off the merry-go-round of madness for a few moments. Whether it be a friend’s living room sofa, the gym, the piano bench, the mall, a country club, the garden, the bike path, you have a place that you yearn to go to center yourself and restore the calm. My haven is staring at a blank computer screen, as a latent story makes its way onto my keyboard.
When my brain is frazzled, I zip upstairs to our computer and press the power button. Only the computer is not the one empowered, I am. I start clicking at the keys, grateful for that typing class in 10th grade and for the inventor of the ultra-helpful spellcheck feature, and I bang out a story or two all the while banging the stress away with each new word.
I have something to say and I like having an audience to confirm that I am not crazy, that my words make sense. Sometimes I need the validation like I need that second cup of coffee.
Every once in a while, someone will pull me aside at work and instead of saying, “That last customer complained about you,” or “The Boss wants to see you in her office—again,” he will say, “I love your blog. The one you wrote the other day, the story about volunteering, totally made me laugh! How do you do it?”
And instead of saying, Oh, it was nothing I am not really that great of a writer because half the time I don’t even know what I am blabbing about it's just sort of a hobby and I can’t believe anyone even reads my posts and I think my stories don’t make much sense are you just saying that to be nice … instead of saying that, you say
“Thank you. I’m a writer.”