Last week was terrible on the whole life front. The ongoing theme was, “Why the hell am I putting myself through this?” Yet, I found small moments of joy. Some were found in chatting with my husband or friends, others from getting out to see a movie, but mostly, they came from my writing.
Around the absolute insanity that is my daily life, I made time to work on another short story. I started this new story with a plan. X would happen, and then Y, and it would end with Z. A typical beginning, middle and end. Five hundred words in, and it took off in a new direction, dragging me along to bounce through the dirt and mud. Fingers raced over the keyboard to describe what I saw in my mind’s eye.
The story had more to say about things I had not considered when I started. It wanted to delve into local history I had learned half a lifetime ago. Things I had long forgotten rose up in new forms and morphed into shapes I’d never before considered.
As the words came, I got lost in the moment, in the perspectives of characters. Music blared from my Echo. Hours vanished and reappeared as pages in a Word document. Brief breaks emerged from forays into research on local facts. Much coffee was consumed. The stress and anxiety from life vanished as I fell in love with the main character and her struggles.
Mostly, I felt utter joy in response to the surprises the story presented me. The story itself may or may not be pure and utter crap. That can be sorted out in editing. It really doesn’t matter, though. It brought me joy in the moment of writing. It gave me a relief from the pressures of daily life. It reminded me that this is why I toss my precious free time into these words on a page, regardless of the results.
Whatever the result of the story, it can’t take away that feeling of pure joy when I got lost in the words spilling out.