This is a question that I'm not only being asked but a question I'm asking myself, and it's beginning to cause me a bit of anxiety.
"What are you going to write next?" is causing my leg to rock back and forth more than "What have you published?"
Mostly because the latter is asked by people who don't know a lot about writing. They don't know things take time. They don't understand being a writer. They only know books that are on the best sellers list. (Nothing against a best seller. Hell, I want a best seller!) They only read (whisper) genre fiction.
"What are you going to write next?" though, well that is a question. The other day I was having a conversation with D:
"What if now that I have time to write, I don't have anything to say?" I asked.
"You always have things to say," he replied shaking his head.
I paused, "Wait, are you just saying that 'cause I talk a lot?"
"No, you always have things to say. You just have to wait and see what happens. Don't be so hard on yourself. You'll find something. Something not about your grandma."
I exhaled as he spoke. Yeah. I'll have something to say. I'll write about...cricket, cricket. Wait, I have papers to grade don't I?
I've already mentioned my month long trip. Mostly, because I seriously can't wait for free time. For waking up at 11am walking to a tienda near the house and having lunch with a beer. Who am I kidding? Maybe just having the beer. The points is, I won't have schedule or a to do list other than the one we make up for the day.
This past weekend I bought a new journal at the El Paso Punk Rock Flea Market. Yes, I have 10 unused ones on my bookshelf, so what. This one called to me. It's unlined. I never get unlined journals. The rigid person in my usually obsesses about crooked writing, but this time I told myself, Who cares?! Just try to fill it the month you're gone. So, I don't know if it will be good. I don't know if I'll like it, but my goal is to fill that journal with something the month I'll be gone. "What are you going to write next?"
I DON'T KNOW! But I'm going to write. I'm going to scribble in the Red covered journal with the inky black 45' record imprint on the front and something will come of it. I never planned stories. They took me where they wanted to go. The planner in me has grown too strong this semester, and it's time spontaneous me told her to sit this one out. Planner needs to get locked in a closet. Planner needs to take a nap. More importantly Planner needs to relax. Already, Red is calling to me.
Come write in me Red says. Buy cool pens before you go because I like nice ink she says. I can't wait to feel the smooth ink across my pages she says. Whisper against my off white skin when you can't think of a word. Let your hand glide upon my pages until I open fully and my pages are spread. Let your fingers trace the words you've been searching for once you've tattooed them on me, and when you get to the end? The end will just be the beginning.