The Promise

A confession—I can get kind of grumpy, especially when my work is interrupted. Recently, my father-in-law had surgery and so my assistance was needed upon his release from the hospital. The very threat of my writing schedule being impinged on, albeit for such a worthy cause, put me in a state. Worst yet, I didn’t know why I was in such a state until the inevitable dust-up between my wife and I when all the ugliness was revealed. Perhaps I am unique in this dysfunction, but I think not. Most writers I interview—at least those who keep a daily writing regimen—report a similar experience. Their writing is interrupted for a few days and the next thing they find themselves barking at their children and spouse for the smallest infractions.

As if there is not enough time to get done all that needs doing. Everything always gets done. It’s never about the time, it’s about the connection. A teacher I much admire said that when someone we love dies it is not the person we so miss but the connection to Life that we experience through our relationship with that person. The same is true of missing your writing. Everyone always wants to be connected to Life—or their soul, or God, whichever suits you—whether they are aware of it or not. For writers, that connection often occurs through the writing.

But we mustn’t forget that that connection is always available, every single moment of every day no matter where we are or what we are doing. It is Life’s enduring promise. We have perhaps identified with reassuring certainty that we can find this connection while writing, but we mustn’t become too enamored with familiarity. It is like realizing you love pizza and so deciding you must eat it every night.

There will always be enough pizza, and there will always be enough time to write if writing is what we want. Because more important even than writing is Life itself. It is thing, after all, we are all writing about.

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