Writing is a passion that drives me to the brink, and sometimes over. I hate it, love it, covet it, dream it, and cry over it. I found a voice, maybe three, sometimes four, by writing. It’s all true what the established writers say to those of us up and coming, just write and do it often, as much as you can even when you don’t want to, can’t or won’t.
I found writing during the worst time of my life. I was in the middle of my very own personal Perfect Storm, with me in the middle of it thrashing about on a leaky raft taking on water faster than I could spoon it out. It started with my father’s rare, but malignant brain tumor, my husband’s mysterious virus that turned into a remission only disease that sees him living on a healthy cocktail of experimental drugs. Of course, back then I wore size 24. I was big, but not as big as the life I was living in that didn’t fit me.
Writing was an accident to be honest. It seemed a good idea at the time to write away my hurt. I was spending a great deal of my time in hospitals between my father’s cancer, and my husband’s mysterious virus. I had never kept a journal, but I had written a thousand or so letters, how hard would it be to keep a journal? It turned out (for me anyway) bloody hard to write in a journal every day. But when I did manage to jot down my thoughts, it felt good, kind of like I had a secret friend that I could absolutely trust.
The daily thing was a challenge. I didn’t take kindly to the routine. It is good and bad, wonderful and miserable, and sometimes it’s been magical. Each time it’s different. I discount the first two years because I was learning. I was learning to forgive, to love, to let go, to start over, to write, to fly, to try. Now I am playing and am playful. I practice with my voice, try out new techniques, like writing, dare I say this aloud, poems. They’re not typical, but then poetry has its own guidelines. Last year, on a whim, I tried Nanowrimo
. More work than a marriage is writing 2,000 words a day, which is what it takes to write 50,000 words in a month.
Now the book and the re-write are finished, which includes an extra few thousand words. PHEW! I have to say this, and it’s not meant arrogantly, I am in awe of anyone that sits their butt down every day and writes word after word after word. Whatever it is each of us writes, it takes discipline to make the commitment. I suspect most of us squeeze our passions in and around our ‘other’ lives, the ones with kids, partners, parents, lovers, demanding careers. We’ re amazing, don’t you think?
I know the hardest part of my journey is ahead of me because now that I begin the real work. Finding an agent, or deciding if I will e-pub, or both, but the worst is assuming my new persona, which is becoming a marketing trollop (this is the harder than writing the damn book!)
Having a dream, following it, but making it a reality, is a heck of lot harder than writing every day.
Why does anyone decide to write? I ask myself that question almost daily. Now that I am, and couldn’t live without writing, like a junkie on some illegal substance, I do wonder if there is cure for me as I am hooked on stringing words together, one by one, until there is an sentence, graf, followed by pages.
Are you following your dreams?