This morning, after I learned that my place of work was not, in fact, closed for a snow day, I made my usual bus trip to the university and let myself into the library. I am (almost) always the first one to arrive in the morning, and I have to say, as someone who never ever ever thought of herself as a morning person, I am kind of loving it.
My actual workday begins at 7:45am. We open the library at 8am and there are three of us who are “openers.” Of the three of us, I am the only one who uses transit, and because of my bus situation, I tend to arrive extra early – often 20 or 30 minutes early. So yes, this does put me at work at approximately 7:15am every so often which is ungodly I know. And yet I have grown to love and cherish this extra time.
I love the quiet, the absolute silence that greets me. I love the way the library looks before the lights come on. And I especially love heading to my desk, dropping my bag and pulling out my journal to get organized for the day.
My journal is a pretty constant companion and has been for a few years now, and I love being able to spend a few uninterrupted minutes with it before the day begins. Sometimes instead of journaling, I spend time in meditation using Headspace, and once in a while I simply go and get a damn coffee to start the day because did I mention my days start stupidly early?? But however I use that time, I adore it and find it somewhat sacred, if that’s not too dramatic? It probably is. Sorry.
Last summer when I was participating in #1000wordsofsummer, I would bring my laptop to work with me and try to get as many words in as possible before work, and it was one of the most amazing things I’ve ever done for my writing life. I did the same thing during NaNoWriMo and I have honestly never been more productive. Me, the exact opposite of a morning person, being productive at balls a.m.? Go figure. But it worked.
And so, on November 15, exactly halfway through NaNoWriMo, I hit my word count and realized that I had written over 25,000 words – well over 25,000 words – and I was on track to reach the goal of 50,000 and then some. And, considering I already had nearly 20,000 words in this project before November even started I began to think of this “project” as an actual manuscript. That could, you know, maybe, become a book. Like, a novel. It blew my mind, but I was excited and ready to hit the ground running and typing for the last half of November. But on the 16th of the month, as you all probably know by now, our younger son was hospitalized after a brain hemorrhage and life as we knew it ended.
And so I didn’t write.
I wrote daily updates on social media for family and friends and followers, but that was it. Writing projects that I had on the go I abandoned. And even later, weeks later, when things started to settle down and get back to normal, I would think about the stories I’d abandoned and would say to myself you must get back to those, and I would say, also to myself, yes, of course, I will, eventually I will get back to them. And then more time would go by and I wouldn’t. But then today, I did.
Today I unlocked the library door and made my way to my office, turned on the light and dropped my bag on my desk as usual, and when I reached for my journal, even before I could start to create my list for the day there were some words that I needed to write down. And those words became a sentence and the sentence became a paragraph and the next time I looked up my colleagues were coming in to start the day and I had to abandon my story to turn on lights and computers and ready the library for the students. But I had written four pages and scribbled notes about how I want the story to progress and a few other things of note that I want to include. It was glorious.
Nearly every day since the end of December I have written “Write something” in my journal, and it’s a task I’ve not been able to check off. Until today.
I’m back, baby.
I love this! I am new to your blog but related so much, as a librarian and as a mom whose son got ill and life turned upside down and then writing stopped cold. Thank you for sharing and letting me know I’m not alone!
Sarah, thank you so much for reading, and I do hope things are better for your son and for your family. And, I’m happy to have helped just a little bit. 🙂