January, 2009.

One morning I woke up with the thought that maybe I should try writing again. After all, it’d only been fifteen years since I last wrote anything, and I had this new feeling that maybe I had something to say. It couldn’t possibly hurt to try.

It didn’t hurt. It was spectacular. Now, sometimes, I experience that same feeling while writing, but only for brief stretches of time. Nothing can top the sheer intoxication of the months it took to get the first version of The Lost down on paper.

Why? Because during that time I wrote for myself alone. I had no expectation that anyone else would ever read my story. I was amazed, continuously, by things as simple as the fact that every day I got up and still wrote. After years of silence, I had things to say. After years of being defined through my relationships to others, here was a place where I defined myself, as writer.

Writing requires work, but work can mean so many things. Sometimes it means puzzling over a sentence for hours, and sometimes it means cutting scenes you love, but sometimes it also means allowing yourself freedom from the infernal editor who lurks within and says no, not like that, no one will ever want that, and challenging yourself to feel joy instead.