Of the many things my mother in law said to me, one of them was “write it down.” She’s not my mother in law by the strictest definition. I am not married but her son is my boyfriend and I was as close to her as one that was would be. She referred to me as her daughter or daughter in law and I called her my mother in law for so long it became reality. I spent a lot of time with her when she was in the hospital. It was bleak and the days were long but I wouldn’t change the time I had. It was there that we got to know each other even better. I miss her very much.
She and I shared an aversion to being forgotten. The general idea of it is frustrating and upsetting. She left so much of herself behind that she won’t be. My boyfriend and I were given her laptop when she passed away. I used it to track down her contacts but found so much more. She wrote. A lot. It’s inspiring to read and is absolutely that raw, off the cuff way I used to write myself. It shouldn’t be lost on a hard drive. It is helping me get back into a groove and I love her for it.
So in Kelly’s words:
“There is a good reason 80% of great stories never get published-It’s because they never get written. Write about what you know. Turn the font way up and never mind if it’s not making sense in the beginning-just write it down. We don’t put pen to paper anymore-because we have computers (which helps people like me who are confused by snarky cats, the bunny, traffic going by, birds tweeting, and life in general.) because the computer remembers. Don’t fix the spelling mistakes, the grammar errors, and don’t let ANYONE edit you. JUST WRITE. You got double vision? Make the font bigger. You can’t remember what the hell you were writing about? Look at your notes, make notes. You don’t feel like it one day, or one week> Fine, don’t do it that day-but promise yourself you will go back. You have nothing to lose but ennui and an anxious feeling that life may indeed be passing you by. I refuse to let a disease, or circumstances or anything else define me. I will define me. I will not be sad and I will not be a drag around other people. If I cry when I am alone, that’s my privilege. If the people who know me best are pretty sure that’s what is going on, then for my sake they will pretend I am made of steel and let on to no one else what they suspect. In order to do that, I have to be busy and as productive as I can be. The rest is all conjecture.”
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