As I walked home from school after dropping my daughter off the other morning, I pondered, as I usually do, the latest plot twists in the book I’m writing. Then it struck me that this is what I do now. I thought back to a couple of years ago, before I started writing about Ambeth and all the other stories coming through me and was amazed by how my life has changed.
‘Will I always be like this?’ I thought to myself. ‘Is this it now, or will I look back in a few years time, shaking my head at how obsessed I was, how writing was a compulsion, a daily requirement?’
You know what, I really do think this is it. After forty something years of life, three different continents and a myriad of jobs ranging from martial arts instructor to waitress to casting co-ordinator and photography producer, I think I’ve finally found my groove. My place to stay, my happiness, as they say. Sure, I’ve been writing all my life, just like my bio says, and for the last nine years or so have been writing for other people. But this is different. This is writing for myself, tapping into the muse and weaving stories to life, words shining silver in the slippery darkness of the pond, fossils emerging from the forest floor. It is discovery and catharsis and creation and desire all rolled into one, a wonderful compulsion to put words on the page, to bring characters to life and tell their stories as they come through me.
So lucky me. I will say this, I have never given up the search for my heart’s desire. Through jobs I’ve hated and tolerated and thought perhaps I liked, through moves across town and state and country lines, I’ve always needed some sort of creative outlet. For a long time it was painting – I’ve sold a few, been exhibited once (just a small show) and several pieces adorn the walls of my own home. There is a peace and joy in painting once I get into the mood, music and brushstrokes a form of meditation. But it is nothing like the fire and excitement I get from writing, the pictures in my mind coming on to the page so much more easily than they did onto the canvas. There are times when I laugh a little and sigh, that my passion is not for some sort of fiendish financial calculation whereby I can make a fortune, but I am rich in so many other ways. Writing has conferred upon me a freedom, a confidence to be myself and express my thoughts, a confidence that grows and brings me back to the true self I came so close to losing some time ago. There is more value in that than in anything else I can think of, for it allows me to love and be free, to care for those around me and appreciate small wonders in the world, seeing them for the story they tell.
Wowsers! I had noticed in recent weeks a little theme, shall we say, of frustration creeping into my work. And that’s not really me. I love writing and, even though there are rejections and frustrations to suffer, none of them do anything to change that fact. So I thought I would write a post on how I feel about writing, letting my fingers flow. And so they have, reminding me of why it is that I write now, and why it is that will always be so, as long as I have ideas to dream of.
Tell me of your inspirations, if you like.
PS I’ve been walking in the woods a bit, taking photos and getting inspired, for much of my Ambeth stories take place in the woods. So I thought I’d share them with you.
Oh, I couldn’t agree more. For me, it’s a bit like having children: nothing is as simultaneously so wonderful and so awful. (The awful bit is not rejection but a fundamental terror that something will come along to stop me writing as much as I am able to do at the moment.)
As for inspiration: ever since I can remember I’ve told myself stories in my head. As a child I used to deliberately keep myself awake so I could “live” the latest instalment. As a teenager and young adult they became a comfort when life got frightening or stressful and now some of them, in some form or other, are making it onto paper. At last.
Oh Louise, that’s so true – the terror that something will stop me from being able to write. Now that I’ve discovered it I feel I need to do as much as possible every day, just in case. And how lovely about your inspiration – I admit I used to do something similar, still do at times to be honest. Can’t wait to read more xx
I fixed your link in my comments!
It is amazing how becoming a writer is a life changer. It sounds like you’ve been a story teller your whole life.
Thanks for bringing this to the party. Have fun clicking on links and introducing yourself to the guests! Tell them, “Susie sent me,” and they should click back here!
Thanks so much! And I appreciate you dropping by, and also throwing such a great party 🙂 I’ve clicked on a few links already – what a fun way to spread the word x
I like this. Your article points to something that plagues a sizable chunk of humanity. Most of us spend our adult lives searching for our “calling” (for lack of a better word). Some find it, others give up searching for it and while other do not know what their “calling” actually is.
I am happy that you found your passion and you are actively engaged in it. All the best..
and ohh…Susie sent me 🙂
Thanks so much 🙂 I’m lucky to have time to pursue my passion, but I think I would make time, no matter what. And Susie knows how to throw a party, hey?