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When Writing Feels Like Too Much

A bus travelling on the straight, divided road towards somewhere. The sun, red behind the clouds as it approaches the horizon, all but stealing glances at the bus that is taking me away from somewhere. Somewhere could be nowhere and everywhere all at once; because on this rocky ride, I don’t really belong to either place: there, or where I’m going.

A dimmed screen with a bright and blinking curser just wanting to see letters appear. And despite the soul behind the hovering fingers being too pregnant with emotion, there is something that can’t let it come out. The tears come effortlessly even when that’s not what needs to pour out. I want the words. I need to words, and I am afraid of the words at the same time.

Not a day goes by where I don’t think about something on this blog. Sometimes the days are just too filled with commitments and responsibilities to find time to sit and put thought into what I want to say. However, most days I am afraid to let myself put my thoughts and emotions into writing. In my last post, I talked about the therapeutic benefits of writing, and like therapy, there are times when writing is too much to handle. This is one of those times.

This past weekend we took the final drive away from our house in preparation for our move across the country. Yesterday, I drove with my husband and my kids south, to our old home-town, where they will stay without me for the next three weeks leading up to our cross-country move. And now, I travel alone back north to finish up some time at work to make up for taking my maternity leave. For the next three weeks I will live out of a suitcase in the homes of various friends, but I will have no place of my own to call home, and that in itself, is lonesome.

The past few weeks have seen us slowly dismantle our intricate life into compact cubes and parcels, which were painstakingly fit into boxes that will either come with us across the country, or be put away in storage to await our hopeful return. Piece by piece our home was torn apart until only an empty house remained. It will be almost a month before we will get the small segments of our lives that are following us to our new house, and we can begin to unpack and put our life together again in a new place.

But until then, I am caught in this chasm of nowhereness – a rather unsettling and uncertain place to be. It is difficult to close a chapter in ones life when shards of that life are still scattered in those pages. And, it is a challenge to begin a new chapter when there are seemingly endless blank pages to fill before words begin to reappear. I want to write the short story that belongs on these pages. I want to bring myself to the start of that new chapter with clarity, grace, and without leaving something important behind. Yet, I feel lost an unable to write what needs to be written.

I know there are some writers who sit to write without knowing the direction of their story. They embrace the uncertainly and let their thoughts move through them, allowing the story to carry them through to the end without fear. But I am not that writer. I like to know where I am starting and where I am ending, and what is going to happen in between. The writing fills in the structure that is set out from the beginning – it is, in some way, complete even before it starts. So how do I let go of that style and begin to fill up these pages that need to be gotten through?

I have to believe that these next few weeks are meant to give me space: a space to finally process the thoughts and emotions that I haven’t yet been able to. Hopefully the story that fills these blank pages will bring me to the beginning of the next chapter with a sense of closure and comfort in what lies ahead. This break between chapters must be meant for me.

As this bus ride comes to its end, I have not been able to put into words any of the difficult thoughts and emotions that have consumed the last weeks and months of my life. But at least I was able to come here and start writing again.

My writing will be slow, difficult, and maybe not what I am expecting. Please, be kind and patient, and hopefully I can get to the beginning in peace.

4 thoughts on “When Writing Feels Like Too Much

  1. The more I write, the more times I find in situations like yours. The moments of a blocked mind have occurred more often than I’d like. It’s a pretty tough spot to be when writing is our passion as well as our outlet. Most of the time we get through it. Sometimes, it sparks a perfectly emotional piece like this one that is so beautifully written. It can be rare and it can be just the right amount of movement we need to keep writing.


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