When did you know you were a writer?
“I am participating in the ‘Writing Contest: You Are A Writer’ held by Positive Writer.” - http://positivewriter.com/writing-contest-you-are-a-writer/#sthash.a3HEvFZr.dpuf
For years I used to think of writers as larger-than-life human beings, apart from us ordinary mortals. I pictured them sitting down at their computers or typewriters in the olden days, at any time of day, tapping out words of great brilliance without any effort. Of course their first drafts would be totally perfect and their phones would ring constantly with agents and editors clamouring for their work. They’d even have to turn some away, they’d be so busy. I certainly wasn’t a writer by those definitions.
I’ve always loved writing ever since I was a little girl living in a world of make believe. Nothing thrilled me more than spending endless hours writing stories and drawing pictures. A new notebook and a pack of crayons could keep me happy for hours while other kids were outside playing games in the sunshine. I didn’t mind being alone as I always had my zany imagination for company. I loved the power to create something new out of my imagination. I still love that magical feeling.
Often teachers would give me encouragement and good marks on a story, poem or essay I’d written but I never really thought of myself as a writer. Pursuing it as a career was not something I even considered. It was just something I enjoyed doing.
I have always loved letter writing and have had many snail mail penpals over the years. When the Internet came along, I took to it easily, connecting with writers and other friends. I even started my own blog. But I still didn’t think of myself as a writer. It was just a fun thing I did.
In 1992, we lost our baby daughter unexpectedly and tragically to forceps injuries when she was only six days old. Writing helped me cope with those dark days, both with journaling about my feelings and connecting with bereaved parents who fully understood the depth of my grief.
In the early 2000’s, I took a self-development course called “Landmark.” They asked us if we were living each day actively with joy and purpose or just enduring life passively like a hamster on a wheel. Were we living our passions right now or waiting for that magic “some day” when we’d have enough time or enough money to do the things we loved to do?
What a wake-up call to realize that we must pursue our dreams right now as there might not be a “some day.” There are no guarantees for anyone in this life and now is all we have.
At the Landmark course, I made a commitment to pursue writing more seriously and I began to take writing courses and get my writing out there more.
I always knew that writing brought me great joy, helped me know myself and connect with others. Still, I’m a bit of a late bloomer since it’s taken me until my fifties to realize that being a writer is part of who I am, just like my red hair and big feet.
I don’t write to be admired or for fame and fortune. If those were my motivations, I would have given up long ago.
I have discovered that when I don’t get to express myself creatively, life takes on a dull, grey palour and I become a robotic drudge, enduring life instead of living it with passion and purpose.
It has been a long journey of self-discovery and revelation, but I can now truly say to the world that yes, I am a writer!