In the darkness of the closed door and drawn blinds, my face glows in the warmth of the monitor. Its sweet touch tickles my chin, my nose, and my brow before sparkling off my eyes. It’s still late (although maybe now it’s early) and I’m still typing. Finally.
Ive been dying to write now for weeks. But every day the monitor growls at me and falls back to sleep – unenthused with what I offer to the mercy of the keyboard. Its not enough. Once upon a time I toyed with being a ‘writer’. I entertained the notion that I could write always, effortlessly, and continually and maybe, just maybe, make ‘a living’ from my pursuit. But perhaps I was guilty of dividing my attention elsewhere, second-guessing any talent (see what I did there?), and jumping on the merry-perfectionist bandwagon driven by dear old friend, Procrastination. Whichever way, Ive got plenty of excuses lined up as to why Monitor and I do not cooperate more often than we do. Oh but when we do its glorious! But mostly we are a bickering belligerent old couple. And I begin to resign myself to the fact that I can never create nor direct my desire to write… it happens when it happens. And that’s why my title generally reads, ‘Design student slash professional slash model’, more often than ‘Writer’.
I recently visited a life coach. That should sound empowering, but in my control freak/highly self-sufficient mind, to say that aloud is like standing up in a room of equally bedraggled and ashamed faces to say, “I ate an entire box of Tim Tams last night at 1am while everyone else slept”. Everyone has been there, but no-one wants to be brutally honest with a stranger. So as you can imagine, its a little confronting to say the least. Oh don’t get me wrong, aside from the nauseating anxiety thrashing around in the pit of my stomach, my coach is very good(!). But I had much difficulty trying to articulate in words and on paper what my ideal/dream life could have in it. Quite clearly the only thing I knew for certain when he asked me what I would attempt if I knew that everything I did would be enough and perfect was, “Something else”. But I don’t think I even told him that. I thought about how much I tried to squeeze into my life every day and thought, do I really have to write? It takes up so much of time, it doesn’t achieve anything, there are no rewards, benefits, goals or recognition (not by my measuring stick anyway). Had I made a mistake entirely with any pursuit of this vision thus far?
Yet, ultimately the moment I was drawn back to my slightly obsessive and yet truly sporadic jaunts through the land of language, I stopped thinking about all these things. There was only one thing I felt as I poured whatever thoughts I had onto the screen (Im a bit new-fashioned that way, I rarely use a pen). And it was joy. And the screen beckoned me into its purring embrace.
I had stopped measuring my writing by the good old joystick (and Im not talking about circa-1998 Nintendo64). I was looking at the ‘things’ I could get for my efforts, rather than taking the one thing that I knew was guaranteed… Joy. Why would I ever do something I didn’t want to? And similarly, why wouldn’t I do something I enjoyed so much?? It may be sporadic, it may be obsessive, and it may rob me of my sleep at obscure times (she says, dimming the lights on the bedside clock that grin in agreement) but it’s FUN. I work two jobs and study a degree qualification – writing is my solace, my therapist, my meditation and my medication, my joy, and my fun. And I don’t do it for anything else.
My name is Kaye Waterhouse, your newest addition to Writers Rising. I am 25, living in Melbourne, Australia. Quite possibly everything you’ll ever need to know about me, you’ll find
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