I’ve been writing online for over twenty years.

I didn’t make it very far with NaNoWriMo. Two, maybe three days? Less than two thousand words, for sure. I would sit down at the keyboard, but I would bore myself to sleep with my own story. Ultimately, I don’t think the story will be boring. Ultimately, the story will be told, and it will be raw and real and red-eyed, and it will come out of me screaming like a newborn baby.

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But I’m not ready to tell that story just yet. That story is going to be a story about grief, and pain, and loss, and quite frankly I’ve spent the better part of three years living that story, and I’m just now getting to the place where I can get through an entire day not reliving the grisly details of my mother’s death. I’m not exactly eager to conjure up those images again.

That’s part of it, at least. The other part is a surrender to vanity and sloth. I’m out of the habit of writing, and my composition skills show it. It would be the same if I tried to run a half-marathon in my current physical state with no training — I wouldn’t make it past the first mile. My words are messy and clumsy, and I second guess every metaphor. I know the talent is still buried in there somewhere — or, at least, as much talent as I ever had — but I need to exercise these muscles, as they have greatly atrophied.

Instead, I try to make some sense out of my life. I work to build a routine. I hope I stick to it this time. I try to focus on getting my house in order. I start up a weekly accountability program with my dear friend in a different time zone. I read. I make sure everyone in my family is vaccinated against the flu.

And I think, “You know what used to help me exercise my writing muscles? That stupid blog that’s been my on-again, off-again mistress for over twenty years.”

So. Here we go again.