I used to be a prolific writer. Short stories, essays, poetry - the written word consumed me.
I don't know that any of it was any good. In fact, I always thought most of it sucked.
I was never much worried about whether or not it was any good. For me, it was all about the escape. Words provided that escape. Whether they were written by the masters - Shakespeare, Dickens, Bernie Taupin (and yes, I consider Taupin a master) or by me - words were beautiful. Rather, the often elaborate, sometimes deceptively simple, always unique way in which people strung them together was beautiful.
If I was awake, I was creating my own strings of words or reading someone else's. You never saw me without a book, a notebook and a couple of pens.
Then life got in the way.
At first I still read voraciously and scribbled on napkins in the middle of the night as I served bacon and eggs to the bar hoppers.
It wasn't long before the words no longer seemed important.
There was never enough sleep, never enough money, never enough words to change that.
I was trying to keep it all together, trying to keep him from self-destructing, trying to keep a roof over our heads and food on our table. Words became a luxury.
I could not have found the words, or strung the words together in such a way as to adequately convey my emotions during that time period anyway.
Since then I've worked for a small newspaper, serving as a reporter, photographer and managing editor. I wrote hundreds of stories.
But that was different. Very different.
Oh sure, I'll go through a spurt - usually paired with some sort of emotional crisis, but I have never gotten back to the 5-25 page a day cycles I use to hit so frequently.
But that's back when my life revolved around words and now my words must revolve around my life. It's certainly an adjustment.