I was laying on my back in the driveway. I have a huge to-do list, and I don’t know what to do. I could focus on any of them but they all feel useless, or not useless, but not really like they get at IT, at what I’m supposed to be doing.

So I lay on my back and asked for help. Sometimes I get too enamored of what I think I know, of what I think I can get done. And then I keep doing those things, checking them off, and at the end of the day I still feel like nothing was accomplished.

Clouds. Seeds. Birds. A butterfly. So I lay down and asked “What am I supposed to do next? Is there anything I’m missing? The hardest part of this is not asking the question, it’s shutting up afterwards and letting something besides my own busy brain answer.

Housework. Grants to write. Check on Esmé (who’s sort of sick). Study hebrew. Find my car insurance. The weird thing is, I feel like the right thing is on the tip of my tongue, like I know what it is, but I’ve just forgotten the word for it. Shut up, Brain. Shut up so I can hear. Still. Small. Voice.

I forgot to write. But writing is too hard. I have 100, I have a thousand, I have 10,000 projects that I can write that are halfway started and deserve to get finished and if I start another one I’m just a kid with ADD who starts projects but never finishes them.

Write. You’ll feel better if you write.

I used to do a project caller, “10 minutes and counting,” where I set myself the rule of writing a story every day in 10 minutes—beginning middle and end. It didn’t have to be good, it just had to be done in 10.

I write for 10. This here now is what 10 minutes looks like to me, what the inside of my head is painted with. The color is gold and black, and there are clouds. Seeds. Birds. A butterfly.

Writing is bigger for me than everything else I do. Not because I’m a great writer. It’s just everything else fits under that umbrella in my cosmology.


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