This semi-hiatus has not afforded me much more time than I had before taking it. One thing that has improved is the state of my home, but I can’t be too specific on that just yet.
I have learned a few things, and here they are, in no particular order:
1. There’s a reason writers say, “Write every day.” It doesn’t take long for the brain to atrophy, and it seems the more I write, the more ideas I have for writing. So I’m sorry to say it, dear family, but it looks like in order to write more I’m going to have to spend more time writing. I’ll miss you! Mostly. And no, silly, I don’t mean you. I mean the other ones.
2. I get much validation from having my writing “out there” for others’ scrutiny and, dare I say it? I shall indeed: praise. I write for praise. It’s like working for food, only with less tangible reward. And since I haven’t been writing as much public material, I’ve suffered a downswing in my self-esteem. Yes, I realize this is unhealthy, but I have been amused and horrified at my desperation for compliments, and at least the experience has made me more aware of it. It is so very ugly when viewed on the page, in comment threads, that I intend to give it up much like I did smoking. By which I mean, quitting over and over only to start up again and then finally kicking but still dreaming about the day when I am close to death and will get to pick it up again. Only thirty-two years to go.
3. I hate people even more than I suspected.
4. I don’t mean you, silly. I mean those other people.
5. Why I learned number three by not writing, I’m not certain, but I imagine it has to do with going to New Jersey. I’ll have to explore this more in the future.
6. GPS devices are useless. See, while we were on the road to New Jersey, I explained to four year old Ethan how they work. On our way back, in a coffee crisis, I typed in Starbucks and found the one closest to our route. When we arrived where the GPS said it would be, however, we were essentially in the middle of a field of tall grasses that looked nothing like dark, French roasted coffee. At that point, Ethan piped up from the back seat:
“That’s because there’s no such thing as a thing in space that goes around and around the planet and takes pictures and sends a signal to the GPS device! They’re not real.”
So this has been quite the educational experience for me.