Writing comes to a woman for different reasons. The list is endless. Some writers I’ve met have been writing since the third grade when Mrs. Williams explained the essay.
“First there is the introduction….
And the final paragraph is the conclusion: gracefully exit your essay by making a quick wrap-up sentence…”
Other writers discover their passion when Mom’s younger sister, Ellie—the bad sheep and hippy of the family—gifts the first diary key included, one Christmas.
“It’s for your inside thoughts and anything you don’t want your mom to know about. Remember to hide the diary and the key in separate places. Don’t worry too much about spelling, just write what your heart is feeling.”
At fourteen, your heart was racing faster than a Formula One race car and the blurred images in your mind sent you into the library to read Lady Chatterley’s Lover, the one book your mom said she read over and over again before kissing that tall boy, Tommy, for the first time. The princess diary, unremarkable at first, turns out to be equal in strength to titanium. It shoulders the weight and burden of those early teen years that includes a flight of firsts: menstrual cycle, blemishes, restless nights, bras with hooks, boys with wandering hands. Later there is a second read of D. H. Lawrence’s book. The subsequent read left you breathless for reading. It’s a new reckless pleasure. There was something in the way Mr. Lawrence conjured magic with nouns, verbs, adjectives, even adverbs, which tickled your fancy.
Or maybe you’re the type writer who suffered and survived a life-altering event. This is a writer on a quest, which is only understood through cryptic notes scribbled in a tan leather journal—after a glass of Merlot—purchased from a bookstore where you stopped after work to pick up the latest novel by an author whose stories make you feel better about own dire state of existence.
In some cases—mine comes to mind—there are imaginary almost life like people whose names come to you while standing in line at Safeway, at 3 AM, as the cloud of déjà vu evaporates, who are living inside of your head with delightful tales waiting to take dimension if only you’d transcribe their plight.
Motivations for writing are endless and as unexplainable as love. The reason that brought you to the passion is yours alone and try as you might you’ll never adequately explain it to others. All you know is you woke up one morning with an unquenchable desire to write a novel, start a blog, or buy a journal. My dad woke after the removal of brain tumor wanting to write.
“Bren, his pet name for me, the good Lord has granted me a pardon. I want to write a poem, do you have a note book?”
We girls made eye contact with one another. Mom spoke first. “Dad, she called him that, what do you want to write a poem about?”
“My conversations with God, we are always talking him and I in my head and I want to write a poem about it.” His voice was matter of fact, solid. “Bren, go find me a notebook.”
For five years, he wrote in the car, at the kitchen table, under the moon. When a poem took hold, he wrote. He finished two volumes of poetry before giving way to cancer. He was gifted with a passion.
Once the passion takes hold, you can’t stop. A woman writes until she wonders why, and sometime later, about the destination. For some publishing is the end game, for others, writing is mystical with great healing powers and gifts the soul endlessly, while others are still struggling with Mrs. Williams definitive rules on writing and don’t know where to start and get tangled up inside a maze of uncertainty and fear of outcome. Don’t let this be you. Put your hand on the keyboard, click your BIC, or dip your quill. Don’t give way to your panic. Let your mind do the writing. Somewhere in middle of the beginning, you’ll know where you’re going. Should it take a while longer, remember what Ray Kinsella heard, said, and finally believed, If you build it he will come.
Whatever brought you to the blank page continue to trust in your passion to write, you’ll get where you need to be.
What does your field of dreams look like?
Writing prompt: Describe a treasure.
Photo courtesy of Caitlin Elisabeth