Writing and the afterglow

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Creative motivation? The brainchild behind the writing? It is this very question that has left me with five unfinished drafts, thirteen neglected followers (don’t peel those bumper stickers off just yet, and yes, the “WE ♥ U CARRIE DOUGLAS” t-shirts are still being shipped), two sweaty armpits, and one helluva hazy evening from too many klonopin.  The five drafts meant to tackle the very debacle of WHY I WRITE are still left in my queue in their virgin form; here is a sampling of their current endings:

  1. fuck fuck fuck where is the fucking tuna (homage to best line ever: Bridget Jones Diary)
  2. blah blah blah
  3. aaaaaahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh
  4. enough with this bullshit Carrie, p.s. you suck
  5. fjdksajfsakd;ghjsd;fj lhrfek;grwaujgia32uj

I will spare you the rest of the bloody aftermath. You’re welcome.

The agony of working through my first ever writer’s block (mini sidebar: what qualifies me to even make this statement) has about pushed me into a mental hell.  D-E-D-I-C-A-T-I-O-N has won out, and the beautiful work which will now unfold is for you, my devoted followers.

Clearly, my creative motivation is not to find a new way to tell myself what a lousy writer and blogger I am. It actually just reminds me of a handful of activities I attempted as a child:

  • Tumbling (loyal followers, who have been following me since I was a shorty, will recall my post about my cartwheels looking like a sideways donkey kick)
  • Softball (as a highly-undercoordinated lefty, my positioning at bat always had me end up facing the catcher)
  • Hell, I was the only kid at recess who could strike at kickball. YES, it happened

So, just the mere title of “blogger” or “writer” has recently confounded me. Paralyzed, I sat before my brand new Twitter account blankly staring at the computer screen. I agonized about who I am and what I think I’m doing in the blogosphere.  How presumptuous, Carrie, to claim writer or blogger after publishing three little posts. Who do you think you are?

Does anyone else find a way to mentally berate herself with something as simple as delineating a Twitter profile? So, when this magic finally rolled out…”air-fiver, blogger, and counselor,”…I naturally began an internal diatribe about the Oxford comma.

I would be lying if I told you writing or blogging was my absolute passion. Actually, I feel a bit like an impostor…or at least like someone who came late to the oops we forgot to tell you it WASN’T really a costume party party wearing an orange, 1980’s, Bruce Jenner-type (think Wheaties) tracksuit with a white terry headband and then got caught double-dipping into the salsa.

So, it goes something like this. I didn’t really know I loved to write until it became more than an afterthought.  In my youth and young adulthood, I experimented with writing: journaling, poetry, etc. I haven’t filled a journal or written a poem in at least a decade. But this writing? It’s different, euphoric.

Maybe this euphoria is something that every writer, faced with her own lack of raison d’être, comes to know after a drought. Perhaps, it’s just that after obsessing so earnestly about one’s next work, the relief of finally bearing fruit is palpable. A coup, of some sort…a writer’s high? Is it even more?

The radio blares that song “Roses” by Chainsmokers and my foot is off the gas because the light ahead is red and every fiber of my being longs to coast just a minute longer because it is that part in the music that makes me almost want to burst out of my seat with joy and the surge of just fucking being and it is resonating through my body because the music is so loud and there is
pure melody and
her voice
and the bass
and I am ready to touch the brake because it is past time now and I am filled with sorrow because it was too fleeting and in a millisecond the regret is a memory because the light blinks green and the lane is wide open so with pure, fucking, unbelievable joy I step my foot onto the gas and sail through that green light and the music is still at that spot where it feels so exhilarating to drive fast; it is perfect and it is happening and
POUND POUND POUND in my chest
and I understand my reason for being alive and
CLICK CLICK CLICK the dopamine is drowning my brain,
my body,
my fucking soul
and it is like this with the
CLICK CLICK CLICK
of the keyboard when there is the hum of taps and clicks and this sound is like no other and my thoughts are literally pouring from my brain and the monitor is flooded with words and I just know this is right, this is what I imagined
my words are the perfect circle and they keep streaming from my mind and
CLICK CLICK CLICK the keyboard is my SONG and this is what I’ve been yearning for, this feeling, this connection, this certainty of being one with something
my mind and body nearly writhe and as the moment ebbs I know that this is all I was ever really after…

I languish in the afterglow; I savor it, breathe it in, feel the comfort of just being. I am still and I am quiet. I stare at my hands where they rest on the keys. There is no sound but the slight hum of the modem. My eyes blink before the monitor; although the room is dusky, I wish the lights were lower and instinctively pull my cardigan tighter across my breasts, my chest.

Transporting, this culmination of work. I will chase it again, but am sated now. One click left: publish.

Like any high, once satisfied, the craving begins anew. These moments are fleeting. They are perfect, tiny and few, but they are mine.

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20 thoughts on “Writing and the afterglow

  1. I get it. It took me nearly 12 years and more than 1000 posts to give myself the lofty title. Although I’ve always enjoyed writing and kept a journal on and off for many years. I stunk at kickball and other sports and could often be found with book in hand. Like you, I have found my comfortable place–among other writers.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Isn’t that funny how it feels! You totally get it! And how perfect, your statement “among other writers;” I belong somewhere, just obviously not on a kickball team! Thanks for your encouragement Christy…
      Carrie

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  2. In order to ease the pressure, I have to say to myself I’m not a writer, I’m a person who writes sometimes. Like if I took off running right now, could I call myself a runner? Actually, if I took off running, it’s probably because a big scary beast was chasing me. Actually that’s why I write. I write because it feels like if I don’t the big scary beast in my head might just catch up. I love your style! 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

    • Wow! My brain unleashes some brutal stuff and I agree, I think I’m not ready. I also read other people’s stuff and I’m like, whoa, there is a writer…sometimes it’s alienating but hey, that’s what therapy is for!

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  3. I am an imposter too. I call myself a writer on some of my social media handles but I don’t write regularly like a writer should. I only write when feel like sharing something I experienced.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Let’s make t-shirts that say “I don’t need drugs to have fun” on the back and “I’m a writer” on the front. I’ll wear it out when I hit up the ‘Bucks. I know there are bloggers lurking there. They’ll get it.

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  5. You did it again, really kept my eyes wide open, anxiously awaiting your next words. I’m still trying to feel comfortable in my writing skin. I equate writing to a bad rash. Always itching, always scratching, never really going away (if you have psoriasis, like myself). I keep scratching, occasionally I break the skin, and need to bandage my raw skin. Kindov like writing.. Sometimes we expose ourselves too much and our insides are always wondering. Just as my broken skin turns into a scab, the wounds from writing heal. The longer we write, the thicker our skin becomes, less vulnerable to becoming broken. Keep writing… Keep scratching.

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  6. Flash! I was hoping you’d come back! That’s the absolute truth, “sometimes we expose ourselves too much and our insides are always wondering….” You get it, the writing itch and then the repercussions….Your comment could be a post in of itself….you’re a writer, a scabby, bandaged one, but a helluva writer! Eternally grateful, Carrie.

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