On Monday I did something very stupid. I say this not with pride, not with shame, but with deep regret. I decided to take the day off from writing. The problem with me is that I wake up early. On most mornings by five o’clock I am already halfway through my coffee and well into my writing. But on this particular Monday I woke up early and instead of writing I was determined to finish reading the book that I had started two days earlier. The book I am reading now is Starburst by Robin Pilcher. Although it is an interesting book it is kind of slow, especially in the beginning. It’s the kind of book that if you skip a line or two you don’t have to go back and reread them, for the story continues. After about an hour into my reading I was ready to give up and start writing. I was kind of upset and feeling guilty. Here I was reading a book that I did not like much, feeling that I was wasting time during which I should be writing instead. But I kept on reading. By noon I had not progressed much with the book, my head had started to ache and I was feeling jittery. I grew uneasy. But I didn’t write. I spent the afternoon on the phone with my friends and still my mood didn’t improve. I went to bed early at around eleven and I tossed and turned. I felt sick, I felt every muscle in my body ache. I felt breathless, my heart was pounding in my chest. The more I tried to close my eyes, the more awake I felt. I thought of switching the light on and going to my writing corner but I resisted. I spent the night sleeping on and off until I got up a little before five and with a mug of coffee I sat at my desk and started writing. I was normal again, I could breathe.
Which means writing for me is a cure. It is my therapy. It is my survival kit. Even if it’s one hour in the morning. It’s like a boost, an energy drink or life’s potion. I write to keep the problems of this world away, I write to keep the pains and sufferings in this world from sickening me. I write to hide from my reality, and mostly from my troubles and heartaches. Writing is the reason I live.
The late Ray Bradbury wrote:
“I have come up with a new simile to describe myself lately. It can be yours.
Every morning I jump out of bed and step on a landmine. The landmine is me.
After the explosion, I spend the rest of the day putting the pieces together.
Now, it’s your turn. Jump.”