Another Kind of Pen Pal

I was thrilled to be back in the swing today, meeting with writers who are recovering from the holidays. In conversation, it occured to me that our writing is like a pal. There are times we feel we should see this pal, but our schedules are tricky. We feel guilty about not making it work, so we stop answering the phone. We peep out the peephole when the doorbell rings, hoping, if it's the pal, he'll think we're not home. Maybe he'll forget about us for a while, so we don't have to be feel bad.

All we have to do is speak to the pal. "Pal, I'm wrapping Christmas presents right now. But I'm thinking about you. Just wanted to let you know." Or, "I'm taking down decorations at the moment, but I really appreciate the place you have in my life." Maybe we'll pick up a notebook, thumb through a recent story. Something. Even a glance in the pal's direction to keep him happy.

The pal understands our lives are full and complicated. But as with any relationship, it's the little remembrances that matter, the ways we include rather than exclude.

Have a conversation with your writing, your pal. Dash off a letter. There. Doesn't it feel better to be on speaking terms again?

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