Okay, this is, sort of, the blog I posted by mistake earlier in the week. I pushed publish when I meant save. The piece had not yet been sauced and seasoned, not yet ready for consumption. Once it had left my hands, I saw no option but to discard the whole thing. So I’m trying to have history repeat itself. Here’s the thing: I read Maeve Binchy’s biography by Pers Dudgeon and came up for air feeling that I had failed as a writer in comparison to the huge success Binchy had. I too started early but did not devote myself to writing the way Maeve did. Bummer! She wrote, traveled, said what she meant and meant what she said. For too long I tiptoed around life, afraid to offend, afraid to expose my work to scrutiny, and I regret those lost years and opportunities. So what was I doing all that time?
Well, if I try to be objective, instead of coveting Binchy’s life, I’ve done plenty. I was an officer in the USAF, I raised two excellent children, I completed grad school twice, taught writing and literature, learned to ride a horse when I should have kept my feet safely on the ground, worked hard and well as a mental health nurse and now I have a small but mostly satisfying list of publications. Not so bad after all. But I do envy Binchy’s accomplishments. The only solution at this point is to keep writing. One thing that helps is flash memoir. I blogged about it recently, but I’m not sure I was yet clear in my own head about its value. When I write about my life, I see what it’s been worth so far. These memories may never see publication beyond the memoir group I work with, but I need to see them, to tell myself that I haven’t been sitting in a corner, sucking my thumb. I’ve been living the life I’m given.