Writing every day is a pleasure and a burden. For years I wanted this life, worked toward it in a more or less haphazard way, till time and circumstance plunked me at this desk, with this view and a lot of writing projects on the To-do list. For years I wrote during stolen time--after the children went to sleep, while others were partying, watching TV, exercising, gardening, learning to play the dulcimer. I felt unclothed without a pen in my hand and a notebook at my side or in my lap. Yesterday, for the first time in a couple of years, I did not write morning pages in my journal. It felt weird this morning to see the gap in the dates. I apologized to myself and to the blank page, like I'd ditched work to go see the Celtics play. (As if I could afford that!) The fact that I spent four hours in a writing workshop counted, but not as much as it should. The will to do the private, individual work drives me to honor my job, which is to put words together in a way in which they have never before appeared. No one would know or care if I didn't write, but I would. I wouldn't be myself.
Novel Boot Camp ended yesterday, we parted with a little wrench, and drove off in eleven directions. We have emails for everyone and a deep look into each project, and some will return to the Lighthouse for more workshopping sessions, but I'm on my own again. Granted, I'm better prepared to take on the big job of creating a world and the people in it, but still, it's me and the keyboard, me and the blank page. Stretching the creative muscles keeps me fit, no matter what shape my body might be in. I promise to keep this blog going, because it, like the morning journal, sets the tone for my day's work. But the work, ah, the work. That keeps my life going.