The Runaway Bunny by Margaret Wise Brown is one of my favorite children's books. I read it to my children constantly and still get a little choked up when the baby bunny becomes a bird and the mama bunny becomes a tree.
I love the idea of the book: the baby bunny is loved, and mama bunny wants him to come home so much, that she will go after him and bring him home to her, no matter how far he goes. Puck and Tink, too, will know that they are so loved that they can always come home to me, no matter where they've been, what they've done, or who they are.
But the cheesy in me wants to take something from it for myself, too, and I've come to associate the book--and its message--with my writing life, and (specifically) the collection.
The correlation being that no matter what path my life takes, no matter what else I have going on, I can always "come home" to writing.
Here's the thing.
Writing doesn't care what else you've got going on. It doesn't care that things are tough (or easy), that you're struggling or succeeding, that you're dealing with drama or creating it. All that matters is that you show up at the page and put words on it. That you tell the story. Anything else is an excuse.
Regardless of what's going on in my life, I still manage to write. I may take a break for a while, but I always come back to writing. And, like coming home, it rejuvenates me, re-centers me and keeps me pushing through to the next lap.