Tuesday, February 16, 2010


So I'm sitting here, trying to think of a blog topic, just hoping that something profound falls into my head and spills out of my fingers, when it hits me...that I've got nothing.

Luckily, I'm a writer and realize that this is what the Writing Life often is--sitting at a blank screen and realizing you're empty. You stare at your computer, or notebook, or the walls and hope you haven't run out of things to say.

Some days the words flow. Other days, they don't. But you sit down and stare at that blank screen anyway. You wrestle with the words and somehow get something down on that page/screen. Often, you go back and what you've written is the kind of stuff you pack into a shoe box and push under your bed, because you will die of embarrassment if anyone realizes you wrote that.

But sometimes it's good. Sometimes you can't tell that you had to wrestle each word onto the page. Sometimes you look at it and think, Did I write that?

People seem to have this image of writing as an easy, glamorous job. You sit down, the Muse shows up, and you transcribe her words onto the screen. Not so. For me writing is more like hunting the Muse down, then banging on her door until she answers.

For example, it wasn't until writing this line that I remembered that my short story Nothing is out today. That's right. I'm writing about nothing and titled my blog post Nothing after forgetting that my story with the same title debuts today. This was even after posting a link to it on my Facebook page! Welcome to the Writing Life!

In this post, I'm talking about having nothing to say. My story Nothing is quite different. It's about a woman struggling with body image after undergoing a mastectomy.

I think that body image is something we all struggle with at some point or another. Even without undergoing something as radical as a mastectomy, our bodies change as we age and some days you just don't recognize the person staring back at you in the mirror.

But in the end, does it matter? I've never had breast cancer, but I have Crohn's disease and have had several surgeries as a result. In the past seven years I've had five surgeries. Each one has scarred my body and my mind. And yet, I'm more comfortable now with who I am than I ever have been. Even with all of my scars. Maybe because of my scars.

And I thought I had Nothing to say...

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