Thursday, January 31, 2013

Rule Breaker

So a little bit about me: I'm a rebel.

Oh yeah. You heard me. For starters, I'm a lefty. When all my friends were learning to write and color, they reached for those crayons with their right hands. I watched them and said, "No, forget that, I'm going to use the other hand." But guess what? Kindergarten rolled around, and it was time to get down with some serious scissor usage. Apparently I was the first lefty my tiny rural school had seen since 1957, because all of their lefty scissors had been purchased around that year. Read: those lefty scissors would not even cut air. So what did I do? I rejected that rusty box of lefty scissors and was all like, "Whatever, I'm using the righty scissors from now on." And I do still use righty scissors.

I'm such a rebel I became a Mormon. What? Not fitting within your "rebel" schema? Yeah, that's how much of a rebel I am.

I have a bachelor's degree in English and writing. Do you know what they drill into you in every writing class? They tell you to WRITE EVERY DAY! Well, not exactly. Usually they say it with more profanity than that. Writing professors love profanity. I also do not use profanity. Rebel.

So here I am on my honeymoon, writing on the beach. I'm pretty sure this journal was never seen again.
So, since every teacher I've ever had has told me to write every day, guess how often I write? I'll give you a hint, it's not every day. Not even close. Maybe there was a time when I used to write every day, out of necessity, just trying to get things done and handed in. But when that was all over and I was left to just write for me, I didn't quite know how to do it. And then I was married. (They told me not to get married in the middle of my graduate program. So I did. Rebel.) After Dave and I got married, I suddenly stopped writing. I stopped because I was happy.

For so long, writing was an escape for me. When I couldn't sleep, I would write, pouring stress and anxiety and anger and loneliness and confusion and anything else trapped inside me into poems, short stories, letters that were never sent, until I lay exhausted on the floor of my little college apartment. I don't want to say that getting married solved all my problems overnight, but it sure did make me happy. And I didn't know how to write from happy. At least, not without it sounding like the opening of The Sound of Music. I guess now I have to finally learn how to be a happy writer. I found this great list on Pinterest. If I had a studio or a room just for my writing, I would seriously paint this all over an entire wall:

My husband has been encouraging me to write for a long time now. He is wonderful beyond belief. He buys me books for Christmas. Swoon. Two years ago he bought me The Complete Works of Flannery O'Connor and the Writer's Market. I almost cried. A few weeks ago, he came home from work and set The Children's Writer's and Illustrator's Market down on the kitchen table.

"We're going to write a children's book," he said, like he was telling me we were going to wash the dishes after dinner or something. Here's the thing about my husband: he is so not a rebel. If something is going on with someone in his family, they call him because they know he will give straight-up level-headed advice in the most loving way possible. So when he says we're going to write a children's book, or that I can be a real writer who, you know, writes stuff, I think I should believe him more. After all, if he were lying to me, that would make him a rebel, which he is not. He's my husband for a very wise reason.

So I guess I need to stop being a rebel, at least at this one thing in my life. I need to write. Do you know, this makes two days in a row for me? Could be the start of something big.

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