Sometimes I sit at my kitchen table, laptop open, mind flicking from one thing to another, one open document to another and I ask myself that very question.
Why not just give up and go and do something else – tarot reading, bareback horse riding, busking on a street corner, running for Parliament? Anything at all rather than sitting here worrying over the next few sentences whilst secretly suspecting that every word I write is terrible and that very soon I’ll have to stop and pick my daughter up from play group.
And of course then there’ll be no more time to write at all. Not today or possibly this week. And I’ll wish I’d used this time much more productively, slayed my demons, got something done. Stopped wasting time. Been more focused. Tried harder.
And then I let go for a few sweet sentences, forget to listen to my own circling thoughts, lose myself in words.
I look up and everything is somehow different.
And I remember that this is why I write. Because ultimately, the page is my safe space, the place where I forget who I am for a while, unencumbered by expectations and worries, shoulds and oughts.
Yes, it’s also the place where I challenge myself, limber up like an athlete in training, wonder if I’m good enough.
But for brief moments, when I stop holding my breath, it’s where I let go, slip into another space entirely, fly.