Well you know it's bad when your little brother--who is swamped with schoolwork and other related college duties and really doesn't have a whole lot of time to peruse the blogosphere--looks at you aghast over drinks one evening and says (and I do mean in all caps), "YOU HAVEN'T POSTED SINCE FEBRUARY 17TH." We were sitting at a table with my parents and cute husband and we were having the "Alison, what are you doing with your life?" conversation. When one of them asked me, "So, what's next?" and I responded with a noncommittal shrug, it was my brother Alex who said, "Well for starters you could update your blog."
As is usually the case, the kid was right.
The main thing keeping me from writing was that I've failed in all of my promises for this blog--the story, the application to an MFA program, and on, and on. During the first couple of months of the year, when I was spending each day in front of my computer screen crying and pulling out strands of hair, I just became completely annoyed with myself for only posting about "the struggle of writing." Ugh, I was boring myself. And furthermore, as I was sitting down to write each day--trying to turn what started, with this blog, as a "regimen" into a "day job"--I got an overall sour taste in my mouth about writing in general. While avoiding writing, I would web surf and find articles about how an MFA gets you nothing in this world, and how most writers with one are about as destitute as the writers without one. And long about the end of February, when the MFA app was about to come due, I realized that writing stops becoming an outlet and starts becoming torture when you begin to think about it in terms of proving your wares to people (e.g. getting published, getting into an MFA program, so you can tell all your friends and so your parents can finally tell all their friends that your life is not a total waste).
Cute husband thinks the answer is in putting myself out there as much as possible, turning this blog into a business where I attempt to interact with other writers, and build up a sort of community that helps one another out in times of writerly stress. I'm pondering this...
My dad thinks I should go to law school because both my husband and soon my brother are doing so, and he has visions of a family business. (And he thinks I'm smarter than I actually am.)
Mom just keeps cheering maniacally from the sidelines--the woman is incapable of giving up on me, which I find really endearing, considering what a flake I can be.
Cute husband's parents (cute parents), too, seem to be indelibly in my corner and send sweet emails on a regular basis saying how whatever I decide will be good.
Yeah, the people in my life are way too nice.
But for my part, I want to just come back to this blog as a place to write about my thoughts, whether they have to do with writing, books, someone that puzzled me out on the street, and other categories that fit into a larger sub-title of "random musings." I feel like I'm at my best and most confident when I'm writing little essays about things, so that, in general, is what I'm going to do. I know I've written here before, saying, I'm back!, only to NOT come back. But my hope is that in letting Promise to Write just BE, with me as your humble author and you as a few nice people who check in every now and again to hear my thoughts, this can work again, and maybe something new and exciting can grow here after all.