Did I fail to mention I was taking off the month of June?
I can imagine how indulgent 30 straight days of vacation must sound in this economic climate. Fortunately, (or unfortunately?) my month long break from blogging did not impact my net (or gross) income in the least.
It’s going to be 57-trillion degrees today. I’m sitting outside eating Bing cherries with a copy of Lucky Peach and the Atlantic. Life is literally a bowl of cherries for me right now. (Although, I’m sure after reading Ms. Slaughter’s cover story, I’ll return to my usual feelings of career discontent.)
It’s difficult re-entering the writing life after avoiding it like the plague. Do I jump right in? Tell you about the time I got an IUD put in on a Monday and removed by Wednesday? Why I haven’t talked to my mom in three months? The time I went on a job interview only to find out that the woman interviewing me was a childhood friend of my CEO’s wife? (Yes, she told him I was interviewing. And yes, he confronted me about it.)
Or how about the fact that my husband and I haven’t had sex in over a month? There’s a story.
Today I will hit publish on this quick post. I’ll sit outside and finish reading a book I started two days ago while my kids flop around in their inflatable pool. I’ll watch my nephew while his mom, my little sister, attends an AA meeting. I’ll walk in these Paleocene-Eocene weather conditions because I love the heat.
And throughout the next 24 hours, I will try to remember that what matters most about my writing–why it is so important–is because it is my passion. It is my path to bliss. And regardless of what happens after I put pen to paper or publish a blog post or start another set of revisions, this writing thing is the tool I was given to find my way back whenever I’ve been lost.
For now I’m going to leave you with two things I love most from all that I have read during the past week:
Jeanne Ray worked as a registered nurse for forty years before she wrote her first novel at the age of sixty. She lives in Nashville, Tennessee, with her husband and her dog, Red. She is the New York Times bestselling author of the novels Julie and Romeo, Julie and Romeo Get Lucky, Eat Cake, and Step-Ball-Change.
From the author bio on the back flap of Jeanne Ray’s recently released novel, Calling Invisible Women.
I resent the implication, by the way–occasionally found in reviews of my work–that I use writing as a means of coming to terms with my own problems. The fact I that I use writing as a means to coming to terms with my own problems is so obvious that implying it amounts to a form of passive-aggressive griping, like implying that soldiers resort to violence as a means of resolving conflict. If a reviewer really wanted to out me, what he or she would say is, “Mark Salzman uses writing as a means of coming to terms with his own problems, but he’s been at it for a long time and is still writing about the same problems, so he must not be making much progress.
From p. 37 of Mark Sazlzman’s The Man in the Empty Boat, the book I’ll finish reading today.