What does a writer trade for the thing she loves? What do we barter for an uncertain future?
We give hours of our lives. We surrender relationships—or the possibility of them. We abandon sleep in the darkest hours of night. Sometimes, we test the patience of our friends, and they test ours. We live in fragile worlds, at a delicate remove from reality (not altogether a bad thing, considering.) We narrow our lives even as we expand them to fill infinite spaces.
Does the doing narrow our choices? Or do the choices narrow our possibilities in the world?
For some of us, this rebirth into the world of words is a return to breathing. The time the work asks, it is given willingly. The sanity…we don’t miss it that much. And the possibilities: Those elusive things exist mainly in the future; harder to know when one is lost.
Each small gain is a seven-league leap forward. Every frail hope is air in the vacuum. Every real-seeming moment in the life of a created character is the kind word of a trusted friend. When it’s working—when what we’re given is greater than what we are obliged to give—there is nothing like it. When we look into the void that exists just beyond the light of it, we are terrified.
This is what we gave because we needed to. This is what we did for love.