Why I don’t call myself a writer: part one


Four hours set aside for writing


Hour one:

I open my computer. Then I remember I need to throw a load of clothes into the washing machine. I go down to the basement and notice the new containers we bought to organize the boxes of pictures, the winter clothes, and other must-save-because-you-never-know-when-you-might-need-it items sitting on the shelves.


Hour two:

The basement is organized. I open my computer. I hear the dryer buzzer. If I get the clothes out now, I won’t have to iron anything or, more likely, wear wrinkled clothes. When I’m putting away my blouses, I notice how messy the closet is. That is one of the things on my to-do list. After I finish, I do the hall closet as well. When I carry out the bag of clothes to give to the Goodwill, I notice my computer.


Hour three:

I open a blank Word document. It looks sad, bereft of words. My mind, ever sympathetic, also goes blank. I enter the is-ness of the blankness. I am one with the nothing that is, or is it? Maybe nothing is not. This makes me thirsty and a little bit hungry. I make a cup of tea and cut up a mango.

I notice three or four documents on the desktop that I have not put into files. I drag them to the appropriate folders. One of the files is for the genealogy folder. Last night I had an idea about how to search for one of my great-great grandparents. I’ll do just that one thing before I start. When I find something, I get another idea.

While I’ve been researching the dead, the living have been sending me emails. I will check quickly, just in case someone in Nigeria wants to share $23 million dollars with me because, of all the people on the wide world’s web, he or she selected me.

I finish the mango and open the folder marked “Blog Ideas.” I read through all of the files. Frankly, I’m appalled. Who comes up with these ideas? Then I remember I do. I close that folder and open the one called “Blog Ready.” It’s empty. I close the computer.

Hour four:

I search for the green notebook, the one in which I write other appalling ideas. Now I must find one of my Pilot Hi-Tec-C 0.3mm pens. I convince myself that the words I need are hidden in one of those slender tubes.  I find one of the pens in the office cabinet on the upper left-hand shelf. The contents of the cabinet need sorting. When I sit down and begin writing, I notice I have thirty minutes left to write.

The moral of the story:

Some are called to write; I am called to clean and sort. My legacy will be clean closets. At my funeral, I expect one of my children to say, “Mother was a fairly good woman, almost average in the areas of mothering, being a wife, and writing; but, heaven’s above, she could clean out closets like nobody’s business. I’ll always remember her for that and for the way she organized her spices. And I’m so grateful she left all these papers for me to line my pantry with.”