Though it hasn't been obvious here on the blog lately, I am first and foremost a writer. In fact, I have been writing more over the last year than ever before in my life. Regular readers of The Magpie's Fancy might be puzzled by this statement, as there has been little evidence of any real writing activity here during that same period. The cupboards have been bare. Not a can of beans or a box of saltines for you to nibble on as you wait for me to get my act together and bake some cookies or whip up a proper pudding.
I promise that will happen soon. Once we are in the new house at the end of August, you won't be able to get rid of me!
In the meantime, one half of my brain is thinking gardens and French doors and room colors and bead board, even as the other half writes and writes and writes. What I am writing is still top secret for now, but I can tell you that its presence has taken up so much of my existence that there has been little room for much else, including blogging. That is a good thing, though, for as a beloved professor once told me, "Write every day, even when you don't feel like it, even when you have no time, even when it gets in the way of the rest of your life." She was right, and I do.
Even as I type this, I recognize how slightly crazy and selfish it sounds, but I don't care. A writer writes. A writer also reads--maybe even more than she writes. And this writer takes very long walks. Walking helps me write. So does washing the dishes by hand. So does daydreaming--not worrying or obsessing, but real daydreaming of the sort that allows for surprises and possibilities.
I hope some of my writing students--both past and present--see this post, because I often give them this advice about the writing life, and I want them to know that I don't take it lightly. The writing life is uncompromising, demanding, and difficult. It also brings moments of great joy among the soap suds and reveries. For me it comes down to this: discipline leads to discovery. It is that simple, and I wouldn't want any other life.