I love to write. Or, at least, that's part of how I feel about writing. I've been doing it for as long as I can remember--compulsively, methodically, guiltily, and for the past few years, professionally. It's part of whom I am.
Until college, or just about that time, I had ideas of writing fiction professionally. I wrote a lot of stories, a couple of truly terrible immature novels, and quite a few embarrassing poems. And then I stopped. I can't say, exactly, why I stopped writing fiction. I think it was partially because I left home and my real life started to be more interesting to me, so I didn't have to live inside my imagination so much anymore. Partially, it was out of some idea of the type of writing that is serious and responsible--non-fiction. Plus, I spent so much time writing for school in college (Reed wasn't a multiple choice kind of place), it kind of killed my desire to write anything I didn't have to.
After college, I still didn't write much. I wrote emails. I started blogging. Eventually, I started writing professionally--technical writing, grant writing. It's nothing like writing for pleasure, whether you're writing fiction or not. The writing I do for pay is all about making things clear, simple, precise. It's craft, but it's not art. I don't mind doing it--in fact, I take a good deal of pride in a well written technical document--but it's not any sort of creative outlet.
Suddenly, a week or two ago, I started writing fiction again, all at once. Inspiration struck, from an odd place, and I started a story. Now I can't stop. I churn out a couple thousand words a day. I think about my story in the shower and when I am going to sleep. I weigh the pros and cons of what should happen next. I live inside fictional lives again. And I feel like I just picked something up that I dropped over a decade ago and have been missing the whole time. Everything about where I am right now feels wrong, doesn't fit. Writing feels right.