Miss Me?

I forgot to write, which it turns out is vital for a writer

Lisa Dexter

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Could be worse — I could be this guy on mowing day. Photo by author.

I’m a writer. No, really, I swear it. I wrote a lot as a child, won a few essay contests, got an English degree, and became an IT consultant. OK, that last piece did not fit in the puzzle, but there weren’t a lot of booths at the college job fair announcing spots for people who loved writing, and I had a mortgage.

After a bit of coding, a lot more time as a project manager, and several years at home with my baby, I found a writing job. Impressive, no? Sadly, no. While I was thankful for the work, I was ghostwriting a “personalization” paragraph on a template. Within a year, I was the manager in charge of those folks, and I barely even got to write the paragraph. I needed a change, which the universe provided in the form of a company pivot that spun me right out the door. Surely now, I’d realize my dream.

Since then, I’ve been a tech writer, a recruiting sourcer, a “person we call a writer that doesn’t do writing,” and a few other things. I also have an LLC named for my great love of my daughter (I didn’t consult my marketing staff) and a website. All of that, and I haven’t been actively writing.

I pretty steadily wrote on Medium for a while before work started consuming more of my free time. However, I had begun writing less before then. Somewhere along the line, I realized that the stories I was writing always ended the same. It all came down to “life can stink, but in the end, it’s not so bad.” I couldn’t accept that I was that person — the one telling you it could always be worse. Was that really me? As much as I try to deny it, yes, it was and is me. Ugh, yep. Uninspired and tired, I stopped trying to think of new articles.

I’d about given up on writing, but this morning I spotted an email in the 100 or so bits of spam-adjacent drivel I receive daily. It was one of those “just follow me and learn how to make big bucks blogging” emails and included a video. Somewhere around halfway through the thing, the person started talking about what they’d overcome in their life to be successful, and by the time they were done, I felt like dirt. But in a good way. I have 1,000 excuses not to crank out a blog post: chronic illness, work obligations, home obligations, lack of confidence, lack of energy, etc., but (I kid you not) I turned off that video, thought, “it could always be worse,” and started typing.

This post is the first step back toward where I want to be. I’m sure I’ll still write plenty of feel-good posts that wrap up nicely because that’s who I am, but I promise to toss in a little dirt and grime to mix up things. The important thing is to write. Writers write, and I’m a writer.

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Lisa Dexter

I am a freelance writer from the Chicago area. I have one awesome child, one sweet husband, one clingy cat, and one website: www.thinkingwhiletyping.com.