A Right to Write


I finished my second round of the Artist’s Way, and now I’m on to the next book the Right to Write. I’ve had this book on my shelf for nearly two years, read one chapter and just dropped it. I know myself well enough to know that that’s because this is where the scary stuff is, the stuff that can really, really make a change. I tend to resist and avoid what I need the most, especially since change scares the bejesus out of me. I also feel obligated to pretend I’m not scared, and that also creates problems.

I have established a sound habit of morning pages, and I’m working on creating some sort of system for artist’s dates – I stick to things when I have a system. so yes, I’m making fun an organized event. But I also have some lingering bugaboos about writing, often exacerbated by not only other writers, but people who wish they were writers. For instance, while I desperately want to get off the subject of my mother and the mess she made that I’ve spent my entire life undoing, I know somehow that the work of this book will lead to me examining our unhappy relationship in a final way, that I will understand myself and how she fits in my context in a way I prefer to avoid thinking about – even though it rules my life to this day. Especially as I’ve come to understand that it’s not just my sister, also gifted with writing talent but too scared to use it, but my mother – who wanted to be a writer and kept it from me – who harbors a jealousy toward me. I think first and feel second; both mother and sister feel and sometimes use it in place of thinking, and it created an unjust, poisonous atmosphere because of their belief that I was responsible for their feelings – or that they were not in any way responsible for their emotions or the actions that stemmed from them. I’ve been detoxing for almost twenty years now. That I was somehow responsible for every act, breath and motion of mine and every mood swing of theirs (always sold to the world as my fault) is something I still struggle with, because despite living with them for 18 years, I still just can’t wrap my head around the willfully crazy. Involuntary insanity I get about as much as anyone can: the brain is an organ, and organs can catch or develop diseases. This stuff where I can see other choices being made with other people, though, that still confuses and scars me.

At the same time, I know going down the dark and scary path ends in a new story of light. I dreamed of seeing Aurora Borealis two nights ago; I’m taking it as an omen.

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