How can I call myself a writer? I ask myself as I skip past my blog (this one) and head straight on to Facebook for a healthy helping of scrabble, inspirational gobbledygook, silliness and chat. This has become a pattern as of late; a pastime I engage in to distract myself from the reality that I am a writer that is not writing.
I am stuck. Jumbled is the best way I can describe it. A million thoughts vie for my attention; some are glorious, some are grand, some are damn insecure and most are unfinished. Just like my writing–just like me.
Time is a funny thing; when I was younger it seemed to be there was so much of it. I couldn’t wait for it to pass so I could do this or that. There was an abundance of time and I could afford to waste it. So I did….and then life gets in the way…funny again how THAT happens and so here we are and here I am in my mid forties and what have I done? Not a whole hell of a lot…
…for myself anyway…for my dreams and my hopes. There was always someone first. This is not unusual. It is the reality of being a parent; sometimes your dreams have to rest on the back burner for a while. I understand that and I embraced the hell out of it, spending many years as a stay-at-home mom. You never ever get that time back and I am glad I was able to do it but this has set me back career-wise quite a bit.
I always thought in the back of my mind that writing would “save” me someday; from the reality…the drudgery of every day life…writing has always been my salvation.
I have spent countless hours alone; just me with pen and paper. I would pour my heart and soul out and never dare show anyone what I had written. Writing was my only confidant, my only true friend. Every hurt…and every joy and everything in between was recorded in one way or another.
I have grown dependent on this mode of expression to get my feelings out. It is like breathing to me and when I don’t write I slowly suffocate…
Once in a while I get blocked. We all do. Many, I think run out of ideas on what to write, this has never been a problem for me… quite the opposite. I can think of a million things to write. My brain is like a radio receiver and most of the time I can pick up one station at a time and focus. This is the perfect spot for me; I am in “the zone” and at my most happiest.
On rare occasions it’s as if all the stations are on at the same time. I can’t focus on just one. I’ve learned not to worry at this point. I’ve been here before and I have learned just to walk away and do something else.
The words cannot be forced and neither can my passion. I have to be passionate about whatever I write or really what is the point? I am finding out. I must be true to myself and my convictions. I cannot sugarcoat my feelings or concentrate my focus on silly feel-good trite. I must speak my mind and not worry about upsetting someone.
I have been guilty of all of the above…and life is too damn short for this.
It is almost midnight. The back door is open and a cool breeze wafts in ever so slightly, my tea is warm and I am smiling–life is pretty good.
I don’t need all the answers. I don’t need to be perfect and I don’t think anyone expects me to be. So I’m going to focus on being me a little more and not being someone else. This Strawberryindigo thing…I don’t know. I may drop the silly name and be….me; Nancy.
I can’t force this, I think I will take life as it comes for a while and see where that leads me…
Where is that? I don’t know but I do know I must keep on writing. It’s like riding a bike and here I am back on the bike baby pedaling like crazy.
I have missed you all here in the blogosphere. I feel like a kid who has been out of school for an extended absence and now I am back. I am out on the playground and it feels good to be here!
PS: Whoever sent me the Kafka quote. Thanks for the reminder. I needed it. I want you to know that it is one of my favorites and so are you!
It is now that I sit here tapping away. It is way past midnight. I am snuggled up in my fuzzy purple blanket, drinking strong hot coffee and living in the moment like a breeze. For me this is one of the bestest and funnest things to do; in words I dance in this moment. At times not knowing exactly which word will be…next…it is a journey of sorts and I tend to end up in places I never expect.
My mind is like a hungry octopus, its tentacles awry, making a wild grab for this and that. Storms form. Clouds rush in only to be ushered out by shards of brilliant sunshine. I am here amid swirling thoughts and ideas that play themselves out atop a blank page… it is here floating on this stream of consciousness where I feel fulfilled and engaged…so alive…huddled over a keyboard like a maniac, tapping away into the night…
There are many reasons why I write; the most obvious being that I generally go crazy if I don’t. It is an essential outlet to me. If I were the only person on this planet I would still write it…even if there was no one to read it. There are feelings I have that would never see the light of day if I didn’t get them out in a such a way. In a way, writing is my friend….and at times in my life, my only one. It is a big part of me. I have allowed it become a big part of my identity.
Writing has become an open window to the world
I started this blog over two years ago with an idea. Simply put; I planned to be myself and write whatever I felt passionate about and see what happened. Now 190 posts later I am a different person than when I started. I feel as if I have gone on a long journey and I’ve seen and learned much. I’ve met some amazing people along the way; others who share this wanderlust of the mind and spirit.
I am happy when I am writing and I enjoy the results. What blows me away is how others enjoy the results as well. I am the happiest when I hear that something I wrote brought a smile to someone’s face. There are worse things. And as dreams go; being a writer isn’t all that impractical, is it?
I feel fulfilled and enlightened and I feel my journey has only just begun…
There are so many more reasons not to do something than to do it. All action brings risk but then so does inaction. Much of the time it is this inaction and the result of such that can be the most damaging and corrosive. Fear can cause one to freeze like a deer in the headlines and do nothing. I have been guilty of having this response for most of my life.
I can’t say that I’m not conflicted. There is the artist part of me that feels and yearns and all that. It is that side of me I have chosen to let dominate, at least for now. Then there’s the other side. The one that doubts, the one that looks over my shoulder at the cold cruel world , the one that sees the bottom line. The part of me that pays attention and knows how difficult it can be to make a living being a writer. It reminds me that in no uncertain terms; if one wants a job writing, one must make writing a job and go to work.
I admit it. I am hesitant to want to make something I love so much into work….and really…to be honest, I’m scared.
I suppose a lot of it is the fear of rejection. Do I have what it takes to be rejected over and over? Writing is very personal for me. I put my heart and soul into everything. It is much more than just a simple act to me. It is something akin to extraction. The possibility of a million rejections and then subsequent “failures” truly hits home here. In writing that’s where my safety lies. This is my safe spot that I protect. My soft underbelly. Much of my new-found self-worth is found here in this freedom of expression. Perhaps it is here I will find my answer as well.
I am reaching a point to where my fear of inaction is greater than my fear of action…
There is this voice inside me. It started as a whisper that’s grown to an insistent tap on the shoulder, it borders on the desperate, begging and teetering on the edge of a scream…
One of my favorite writers, Ray Bradbury once said,
“You’ve got to jump off cliffs all the time and build your wings on the way down.”
Life is full of risks. without risk there can be no reward. Without jumping off cliffs, how are we ever to learn to fly?
I made a promise to myself that I would start submitting writing pieces in 2013, I have yet to do this. Now I’ll have to. Keep you posted. Wish me luck.
“Writing is finally about one thing: going into a room alone and doing it. Putting words on paper that have never been there in quite that way before. And although you are physically by yourself, the haunting Demon never leaves you, that Demon being the knowledge of your own terrible limitations, your hopeless inadequacy, the impossibility of ever getting it right. No matter how diamond-bright your ideas are dancing in your brain, on paper they are earthbound.”
― William Goldman
What could I possibly write about writers that hasn’t already been written. Writers are famous/infamous for many reasons, most of them true. Many of we scribblers are a little cracked but rest assured…I’ve heard from many reliable sources that it’s the cracked ones that let the light into this world.
Writers have lots of interesting bits inside them; odds and ends and little pieces of themselves that under the right circumstances will spill out unto a bright white sheet of paper, like drops of blood on a canvas.
It takes a certain amount of courage to put your words and thoughts out there for others to judge or criticise. It puts one in a vulnerable situation. It takes a certain force of personality, a confidence and sheer niavety with a touch of egotism to put one’s heart and soul out there…innnermost thoughts and beliefs ripe for dissection.
It is a thirst, a need to express oneself. To send the little bits of ourselves off to have lives of their own, floating around in the collective consciousness where we all share everything. To reach out to others with words..conveying hopes, dreams and ideas…
The need to be heard. It is a compulsion. A strong maybe not so logical compulsion but it is powerful….and words are inspiring…this month’s set of quotes are devoted to some of my favorite people: Writers.
It is a blessing, a curse or the best thing ever to be a writer….perhaps it is all three!
This month’s edition
…here they are…and pictures too…
“The purpose of a writer is to keep civilization from destroying itself.”
“A writer – and, I believe, generally all persons – must think that whatever happens to him or her is a resource. All things have been given to us for a purpose, and an artist must feel this more intensely. All that happens to us, including our humiliations, our misfortunes, our embarrassments, all is given to us as raw material, as clay, so that we may shape our art.”
Writers may be disreputable, incorrigible, early to decay or late to bloom but they dare to go it alone.
“A non-writing writer is a monster courting insanity.”
― Franz Kafka
“At night, when the objective world has slunk back into its cavern and left dreamers to their own, there come inspirations and capabilities impossible at any less magical and quiet hour. No one knows whether or not he is a writer unless he has tried writing at night.”
― H.P. Lovecraft
“You get ideas from daydreaming. You get ideas from being bored. You get ideas all the time. The only difference between writers and other people is we notice when we’re doing it.”
― Neil Gaiman
Everybody is writing, writing, writing-worst of all writing poetry. I’d be better if the whole tribe of the scribblers-every damned one of us-were sent off somewhere with tool chests to do some honest work.”
*Sometimes writers need help too. Thanks for that! YOU know who YOU are…
Quotes From Franz Kafka (consilientinterest.com)
Hemingway On Training For Aspiring Writers (thenewwritersjourney.wordpress.com)
On Writing – Having someone that will call you on your bullsh.(swampofboredom.com)