At Least I Can Write

I keep going back and forth.

I’m content. I’m fed up. I’m optimistic. I need wine.

And it’s all over the same thing: this writing life.

When I wake up each morning, at some point before I eat breakfast and possibly before I even drag myself into the bathroom for a shower, I stop and think. What kind of writing day will this be? I don’t mean whether or not I’ll write when I get home – that’s a given. That always happens. But what kind of outlook will I have today? Will I be creative on my car ride to work? Dissecting issues, contemplating chapter breaks and character dialogue? Or will I be frustrated that it takes me an HOUR to drive someplace I really don’t want to go, just so I can spend the entire day thinking about being home, and then drive the HOUR back only to squeeze in 1-2 hours of writing if I’m lucky? I know that sounds whiny. I know it does. Because it is. Sometimes I hear myself think these thoughts and I say to myself, “really? You have it that bad? At least you have a car to drive. At least you have a job to go to. At least you’re alive today and not, oh I don’t know, back when you didn’t have a vote or a say in marriage or MAYBE YOU COULD HAVE BEEN A GLADIATOR.  Would you like that better? YOU COULD HAVE BEEN A GLADIATOR!!”

Uh, no thanks.

It’s just a constant pendulum swing – is today going to be positive day or a negative one? Am I grumpy that I have to go to work, or am I at least happy that I can write?


At least I can write.

It hit me one day; that obvious truth I was so blind in seeing. The goal is not to be famous. The goal is not to be wealthy. The goal is to do what you love everyday. And I already am. Even if it’s only for a little bit – an hour or two at night – I get to do what I love. How many others can say that?

Everyone struggles. It’s an inevitable, unavoidable part of life. Everyone has their own journey of difficulties and hardship. No one gets what they want right off the bat. EVERYONE has to work for it. And every day that I come home exhausted, fed up, disappointed in myself and teetering on the scale of believing that I’m wasting this life, I sit down and write. Everyday. It doesn’t matter if it’s only for an hour, forty minutes or twenty – I get to do what I love.

And really, how amazing is that?

So now I turn the question around – how many of you are striving to do something full-time but only able to fill a few hours with it now? How many of you actually get to do your thing – whatever it is – at least once a day? How blessed you are. How happy I am for you. Because even if it doesn’t take up the majority of your day, you still have time for it. You still get to do the thing you love.

Don’t get me wrong – it’s still a constant battle: will today be good or bad? Do I need one glass of wine or five? But at least I keep coming back to the epiphany that made it make sense. I’m already doing what I love.

And isn’t that the point?

4 thoughts on “At Least I Can Write

  1. Loni Townsend says:

    I think I would like to write full-time, but I’m happy being a programmer too. I don’t know if you have kids or not, but value that writing time and cling to it dearly. Writing at home is impossible lately, and I’m lucky if I snag some writing time on my lunch hour at work. But those moments I get, I do treasure, because it’s like you said, “At least I can write.”

    • cgcoppola says:

      I don’t have kids and I don’t know how people that do are able to find the time. It’s incredible, really, Let me ask you this – do you keep to a certain schedule that allows you time to write? Or do you just find little moments? It’s awesome that you like being a programmer. I don’t want to do anything else. I only want to write. I majored in creative writing knowing full well that I would have to do some bogus job for a while.But I guess it’s the storm before the rainbow!

  2. Ari says:

    Such a great outlook! You’ve always been the optimist of us two, and I love that you can put a positive spin on a less than ideal work situation. Whether it’s been a great day or the kind that leaves you itching for chocolate, wine, and a romcom (you know, the days when you find yourself screaming at the people driving around you), writing is your happy place. And to be able to get to that happy place Every Single Day is certainly something to celebrate.

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