By my mom’s accounts, I didn’t start talking until I was three years old. Take that number and calculate it by the Killeen Exaggeration Factor (that a member of the Killeen clan will exaggerate numbers by 30%) that really means I was about two when I started talking. People told my mom that maybe I should be “checked out” and Mom said, No, no, Jane’s fine, but secretly she was having me “checked out”.
Turns out I’m just a nonverbal person. Spend a little time with me, and you’ll notice that words don’t come out of my mouth all that often. I don’t exactly steal the spotlight. When I do speak, it’s usually after periods of reflection and silence. Those periods may take days. Something will bother me or it won’t feel right, and I’ll write about it before I have the words to talk about it.
I write, because it helps me express my thoughts and feelings that I can’t do verbally. It is literally my voice.
During some of that time of non-talking, my head is in the clouds. You know that movie, The Secret Life Of Walter Mitty? THAT IS ME. Toku calls it Janeland. I’m also a huge space cadet. Without rigid structures and meticulous processes, my personal life falls apart.
But going to Janeland is also good for other things. That same dream world also helps me come up with some weird stories, and then I write them down.
I write, because Janeland is a rad place but it’s also a little out-of-control, and if I don’t write about it, there will be epic mutinies.
When I write, I know exactly what I’m doing. It’s a medium that I know in my gut, the way a fisherman understands the sea or a carpenter understands wood.
Before I did 500 words a day, I was ungrounded. When I went weeks and months without writing, I was as lost as Odysseus, finding his way home to Ithaca.
Whenever I’m not writing, I’m thinking about writing. If I do my words for the day, then I’ve gotten this tense, restless energy out of my system. I feel called to it.
I write, because I was put on this earth to do it, and if you were put on this earth to do something, you damn well better not waste it.
This post inspired by the challenge on the Terrible Minds Blog, “Today’s Flash Fiction Is Not About Fiction”.