Writing is both easy and hard.
For some people, one of my children, for instance, writing can be very, very hard. One of my children has a learning disability that makes forming words and reading them difficult. For me, forming words has never been hard, even when I was very young. Being the mother of a child with this type of disability, a disability so different from my own abilities and disabilities, has forced me to reckon with what I take for granted.
I take it for granted that I will be able to put my thoughts into words, words that others will understand, indeed, that others will enjoy reading. One step further: That others will enjoy reading so much they will pay their actual money for me to write those words. Editors pay me, publishers pay me. I’m a professional writer.
I’ve taken that for granted for years now.
Excerpt from “Reason to Believe,” by Bruce Springsteen, album Nebraska
Now Mary Lou loved Johnny with a love mean and true.
She said, “Baby I’ll work for you every day, bring my money home to you.”
One day he up and left her and ever since that
She waits down at the end of that dirt road for young Johnny to come back.
Struck me kinda funny, funny yeah to me
How at the end of every hard earned day people find some reason to believe.
I’m at a turning point in my career at the moment, [details redacted], one that has me feeling uncertainty for the first time in a while—not the ordinary kind of uncertainty, the day-to-day kind. This is the big-picture kind. The step-back-and-reassess my life’s purpose kind.
Maybe I should take fewer things for granted.
Maybe I should finish that memoir manuscript that’s been showing me how easy it really is to write novels.
Maybe having two children with greater-than-ordinary differences means that I need to cut myself some slack.
Maybe a trip up to the mountains is just what I need, even if it is for work.
Maybe writing is harder than I think it is.
Maybe I really do need a reason to believe.