Tuesday, December 11, 2007

The Trouble with Getting Out

I am going out this evening. I'm going to hear a poet/teacher/friend read from her new book and have her sign a copy for me. It's right down the street and early in the evening so while I'll leave the guys on their own for dinner, I won't be missing bedtime. It sounds so easy, right? Yet, when push comes to shove, I will have to make myself go.

I have felt this way, drawn toward literary things, (workshops, readings and classes) and at the same time utterly afraid of them. Something happened to me, to my confidence, when The Kid was born and I spent that handful of years with very little but him for company. I lost my confidence as a writer and as a reader. I lost all contact with the girl who was convinced she could write and read and discuss words with anyone, anywhere.

Rationally, I know my brain is still there. There is proof that I can still read, still think about literature. I can still write. I am actively writing every day. Yet I will sit in my car and take a few deep breaths before I walk into the bookstore tonight. I will be nervous and I will feel dorky and a little bit like a fraud, but I will go. That's what you do, I guess, when you're finding your way back to who you are now, using who you used to be and who sits right here at this very moment as landmarks.

I know I will be glad I went. I'll be glad to have a memory to go with Jenny's book, a small conversation, a glass of wine, and the slow drive home in the dark.


  1. Boy, do I get this. I have struggled with my image as a writer (and a conversationalist, frankly) for the last, let's see, fifteen years, particulary those first ten when I was knee deep in parenting.

    That is why I started blogging in the first place. To dip my toes in and give it a whirl. I am finding that my excitement and creativity have grown considerably as a result.

    Just keep writing.

  2. Thanks for letting me know this particular crazy is not mine alone.

    I will keep writing. I will.
    I will.

  3. It's nice to know that others feel this way. I lost my nerve back in grad school, and somehow, I never truly got it back. I'm working on it, though--the blog helps!