I started writing on a Mac laptop when I was in middle school. I was maybe 10 or 11? And when I started, I never imagined I would ever reach an age I would stop.
10 years later, I stopped.
I stopped writing not in the sense that I stopped writing, but my engine for fiction just sputtered out. Real life had become more fascinating, and troublesome, and I had to expend all of my writing towards journaling and thinly veiled “fictive” stories to help me resolve, or triage, all of what was happening in my life.
Well, more explicitly, that is, because my fiction was always about resolving what was happening in my pre-teen and adolescent life: who was I? what purpose did I have? was I good or bad? who did I love? why? what mattered? what didn’t?
Fiction was a way of parsing through these emotions and feelings, and it was done at a distance – galactic distance, to be honest, I had a taste for space opera – which allowed me to pick up and examine from all angles these big-terrifying-unknowable things that had cropped up in my life: sexuality, courage, fear, death, mortality, honor, religion.
Once I hit college, I could no longer actively ignore these things from a distance. Once I was an adult, I barely had time to read fiction, let alone write it.
And now, I have time again. Not because space-time has magically expanded and so I’ve gotten an extra few hours each day or week, but because the ability to manage my priorities has somehow come into my possession again. No magic, just active choice.
So, I miss fiction. I miss being able to ride the waves of imagination which led me to write deep into the night, thousands upon thousands of words, thousands of pages, whole universes of endless potential…
I don’t know, yet, how to get it back. I don’t know if I can. I know it doesn’t require deep discontent with life – that’s a bit of nonsense that too many writers cling to, though I won’t ignore the fact that discontent does provide quite a bit of highly potent nightmare fuel – but, I know it requires an ability to step outside of the practicalities of the day-to-day and even the deep facade of rationality which underpins my professional life.
I miss it. I miss it so very much. I used to travel the stars. And now I feel trapped on this hard earth.