Monday, March 24, 2014

Word Hoarding

It's been over a month since I've written a blog post. Over five weeks, actually. Life has gotten away me again and I'm still learning how to manage being a mother of two. But amidst the late night feedings and temper tantrums and preschool pick-ups, I still think in blog posts. The running narrative in my head gets longer and longer with each passing day until the unwritten words pile up.

Instead of blogging, I've been chillin' with these
two adorable, hilarious little distractions.
I can't find my car keys or remember why I walked into the bedroom because the words fill every nook and cranny of my brain, crowding out other useful information. Sometimes I imagine the inside of my head looks like a hoarder’s living room – stacks and stacks of words piled up to the ceiling. I wade through the words, thick as sludge, until I'm out over my head. They're pulling me under. I’m drowning in the words I don’t have time to express. The word clutter is killing me.

I've never been able to function in clutter. Even in high school, I kept my room relatively neat. In college, I had to tidy my dorm room before I could sit down and focus on studying. At my Big Girl Corporate Job, my desk was rarely messy, which is weird for a creative person. When I am surrounded by physical clutter, it’s very difficult for me to focus.

Now with two children, not only is my physical environment cluttered with toys and laundry, but my brain is also littered with half-baked thoughts. Every toy car or truck on the floor represents a blog topic that is just sitting in my brain, waiting to be put away. For every pile of dirty laundry, there is a pile of words jumbled up in my head waiting to be sorted. I’m constantly tripping over it all.

I have no need for those writing prompts so many bloggers find helpful. “Writers block” is a foreign concept to me. I keep a long list of blog topic ideas that I want to get out of my head, although sometimes I don’t jot the idea down fast enough and it gets lost in the word clutter. Still, that I might sit in front of a blank document and not have any words come to mind is entirely unfathomable.

Instead, the problem I face (aside from finding the time to write, of course) when I open the laptop is simply a temporary paralysis as all the words fight with each other to get out. They see the light from my laptop screen and start to stampede toward the door of my brain. The words shove and claw their way through the narrow doorway, desperate to get out. With so many words to choose from, it’s sometimes hard to decide which ones to write first. But as soon as I make my decision, my fingers can barely keep up with the wave of words that come flooding out.

When I finally have time to write and rid myself of all these words, it’s a deeply cleansing feeling, like finally cleaning out that closet or junk drawer that’s been driving me crazy. I can breathe again, I can focus. With every blog post, the cobwebs of my brain are cleared away, and I’m actually… smarter.

So the fact that I have not had time to write the last several months has really taken its toll on my smarts. So much has happened! Did you know that I had my three-year blogiversary last October? The milestone passed without fanfare as I comforted a terribly ill toddler. As I stroked Quinn’s forehead, who was delirious with fever, I desperately willed my contractions to stop and silently begged the baby not to come that night. (Reid kindly obliged and joined us the very next day.)

Blogging just isn’t the priority for me that it once was. Something had to give. So in an effort to be kind to myself, I let go of the guilt for not blogging as often and promised myself that I would get back to it (and to me) soon. I admit I’m a little worried that you won’t wait for me, that when I finally come up for air from under this ocean of words, I will be staring at an empty shore. No readers. No fans. No followers.

I do hope all of you will still be here when the words finally come flooding out. I promise there are some treasures in my word hoard.