The irony of this post is that I have been thinking about it for several days. The only thing I am absolutely certain of is the title. For which I offer these this small consolation (though I doubt they will lower anyone’s disgust): I do not myself have actual hairballs.
Hairballs are disgusting. If you have a cat, depending on breed and diet, hairballs can be a relatively frequent occurrence. Regardless of frequency hairballs are always disgusting. They are ugly. They are often left/found in places/at times that are an unpleasant surprise. They are made of things that none of us want to think about. And the process of bringing up a hairball looks and sounds awful. Yet…
Hairballs are the result of a natural, and necessary cat grooming process. And if cats didn’t cough up hairballs, in the very worst case, the result could be life-threatening. Hairballs: can’t live with them, can’t live without them.
Hairballs are my current metaphor for my writing. I have intentionally been putting pen to paper since I was eleven. Though folks I might even believe have declared me ‘a good writer,’ I have never done anything with my love for words.
I did not really make resolutions this New Year. Rather, I guess I made one: show don’t tell. A little less conversation, a little more action. If something is important to me, I have to put my time and my energy where my intention is. And something in me wants to write.
So I am writing. I am keeping a journal with an intensity unmatched since my adolescence. And I keep writing posts for this blog. This year-and-change old unfocused, repeatedly reinvented, former food blog. Some of what I write comes out just as I imagined. Most of what I write just comes out. I rarely edit beyond spell check, and my goals with every post are: to find the words that most accurately express my brain pickings of that moment, and write through all my hang-ups to achieve on-demand, creative fluency. Because I believe that (if it is anywhere) my idea, my ‘oh I want to write about that!’ is on the other side of that fluency. And I want to get there any see what it is.
So I write about anything. I write about everything. I mostly write about how I feel being a single, child-free, adult in career limbo in a bad economy, working through old and current life issues. I am told one can’t be good at writing about anything and writing about everything. I believe that one needs voice and vision and drafts and revision and structure and design and a goal, or a message, to write a really good piece. But I’m still writing posts.
Writing is a muscle. To write, one must write. Ballerinas plié, writers write. I am not even writing yet. I am still getting out the hairballs.
So this is apology, explanation, and thank you to anyone who reads at all, and especially to anyone who reads still. Thank you for reading my hairballs.