This morning I wrote a memoir segment about visiting Nablus in northern Palestine. The last segment I wrote was about driving from Bethlehem to Nablus. That memoir piece is dated 05/30/21. It has been twenty-four days since I have written.
I didn’t begin my pause with any intention. On the first day, I simply didn’t write. By the third and fourth days, it was bothering me. I began to obsess about it. I even made it an item of discussion with my therapist a couple of weeks ago.
Was I quitting? It didn’t feel like writers’ block–whatever that is. There is a distinction in my mind. My concept of writers’ block is that I sit down at the computer and nothing comes out. This was different. I wasn’t writing because I didn’t want to write. And I felt guilty about it.
Kevin, my shrink, and I put some perspective on the whole thing. Between December 18 and May 30, I had written over 400 memoirs. I had finished a manuscript for my book. Hawaiʻi Calling was on its way toward the printer. I was racing furiously forward, working on two new books. One explores and unveils the dark secrets of my family of origin. The second details the tender and touching memories of my three months in Palestine in 2014. From zero to light speed–that’s what I had done in those less-than six months.
But suddenly, I quit writing. I didn’t want to write. I could have done so if I sat down. But I didn’t want to do it.
Today I did it again. I wrote. Picked up right where I left off and continued my Palestinian journey. I wrote today because I wanted to write.
I remind myself. I am new at this. Writing (as a non-profession) is a brand new experience. I’m learning. Learning about writing. Learning about myself. Learning about the powerful storehouse of experiences that dwell in countless neurons inside me. They are all there. They are waiting. Waiting for me to want to tell them.
In a few weeks, I will be holding a 100-some-page book in my hands. The cover will read,
The Haliʻa Aloha Series
I wonder what that experience will feel like and what it will teach me.