LB: “Writers are People Who Can’t Not Write”

(LB’S NOTE: If you’re a writer, you’ve probably read or heard the saying that’s the title of this post dozens of times. I certainly didn’t make it up. Which makes the fact that I’ve long been enslaved by it all the more annoying.)

I’ve been doing my best to be as unproductive as possible for a while now (because my productivity fetish made much of my life so very difficult – and the life of my family even more so), and today’s good news is that yesterday was a huge success for me, illustrated by the fact that I actually managed to not write a post here on the blog.

That said, as you can see for yourselves, I’m blogging and posting right now, because of something that did happen yesterday that captured my writerly attention.

The Brody house was visited by some people we don’t know. Specifically, by missionaries from a church we’d never heard from.

We didn’t see said missionaries but knew someone was here because Layla the Ever Welcoming Labrador retriever started barking merrily at the front door the way she does whenever anyone comes up the walk, immediately triggering Gwen’s and my “Run away!” auto-response and sending us rushing to the other side of the house.

As usual, we waited a few minutes for Layla to turn off her siren and then I cautiously made my way to the entry hall. I looked out the window alongside the door and saw no one.

(image found on Amazon.Com. You can buy one of these at

What I did see, however, was the telltale sign of unwanted salesmen, politicians, and gardeners. You know the one I mean – in this case a slick, professional looking plastic cutout over the handle. The cutout showed a church and the lovely old couple who had founded it and said that the uninvited missionaries were sorry they didn’t get to meet us but had put in a good word for us with God anyway by saying a prayer for our souls.

I thanked Layla for doing such a good job of giving us the heads-up, threw the cutout into the trash, and Gwen, the dog, and I went on with our joyfully lazy day.

That would’ve been that, but later, at about one a.m., I woke up from a dream featuring the church founders their very selves, filled with anxiety and good old existential angst. I couldn’t get over the feeling that thanking Layla wasn’t enough.

I owed the universe and whatever is behind it a bigger and much snarkier thanks for ignoring my ongoing attempt to rid myself of what might be called Writers’ Inevitable OCD and bringing me a mission I couldn’t stop myself from communicating.

A mission I’d been sure was of absolutely no consequence, but which had gotten into my head and made itself so important that I stayed at the keyboard for hours to shape up this post so I could put it up on the blog not, now, NOW.

And in the bargain lose sleep, energy, and the comfort of my fam as I so often had in the past because of what? Habit? Addiction?

I’d like to blow this all off and go back to bed and maybe get enough sleep to be able to relax and enjoy the next day. But I keep thinking that maybe what I’m writing does mean something important. There must be some meaning behind my 60-plus years of dedication to the written word and those who read it–

Aw, crap.

Thanks a heap, uninvited praying missionairies.

Here I am again, all tangled up in productivity whether I like it or not.




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