I know, I look tired. In my job (I’m a university lecturer, as well as an author), if you don’t look tired by the middle of November, you aren’t doing it right.
I do it right. I love my students. I mean, I genuinely care about every single one of them; even the ones whose names I can’t remember. Even the (perhaps especially the) horrid, difficult, spiky ones. I have about 95 students I’m teaching directly this year and another 100 or so that I either tutor, mentor or pop in to see and speak to occasionally. And I love every one of them, even the first-year-boys-who-smell-of-pub.
And they love me back. I give them my energy and they give me energy. Sometimes I get more than I give. Sometimes I give more. It’a not useful to keep track.
It’s the same way in my writing life. I got a nice forward last night. Someone who I really respect loved something I’d written. They said that word, ‘loved’. And suddenly, I’m full of energy again for my current project. The reader had felt the love I’d put into my writing and had responded to it. My love had gone to her, and so she sent me some back. I feel like I got a good deal out of that exchange and I hope she does, too.
When I wrote that story, I didn’t know if anyone would ever read it. I felt alone and very vulnerable when I wrote it. But I put the love in, anyway, like a message in a bottle. Because, really, what are we doing when we write, if we don’t? What good is it to anyone if we save our energy for ourselves and don’t spill it out into our texts, willy nilly?
There’s no safety in the game of writing. You either do it, or you don’t. And doing it means doing it with…well, there’s no other word for it…love.
Current ms: Blazing Heart
Word Count: 82,945