I originally wrote the following on 10/26/07:
Every writing book I’ve ever read comes down to this: Writers write. All of them say it is that simple. If you want to be a writer, you have to spend time writing.
It may be that simple, but it just isn’t that easy. Writing is about putting your thoughts onto paper, sharing your memories, dreams, ideas, and emotions through words. Many of the things I want to communicate don’t have any words. How do I write a picture for another to see? How do I lead the reader through the nerves in my body or the synapses in my mind? Things intangible, and yet utterly real, long to be shared, explored, and understood. And words are such a feeble thing to use in the process. Every word has its meaning, and through combinations, many meanings can be achieved. But there is a lack of logic in finding the right words for the look of a sunbeam in a bedroom or the inner collapse depression brings. The best words are a leap from the start. An unexpected connection is made, and the reader thinks, “Yes. That is true. That is something I know.”
But my intellectual brain, with its years of education and study, wants me to think my way through all this. Surely writing would be easier if I just thought about it. Hence, the shelf in my office dedicated to books about writing. Books I go to for insight, sympathy, companionship, hope, support, and guidance. I’ve been fascinated by the creative process, especially the creative writing process, for as long as I can remember. I know in my heart that my ultimate dream has always been to be a writer. From watching me over the years, you would think what I really wanted to be was a reader who can tell you all about how to write.
The odd thing is that I can write when I choose to. Last year, I participated in NaNoWriMo and made the deadline with a few days to spare: 50,000 words in under 30 days. I found it easy to sit and write for hours, especially when the fire was stoked and burning well. I can get caught up in the idea of the moment – the scene, situation, characters, action – and then the words flow as if they were water.
I guess the key is the choice. I have to allow myself to write. Even knowing how much I enjoy it, and how energizing I find it, I will often give myself other things to do, divert myself from my dream of dreams, and head off into areas that are also interesting and even fulfilling, but that result in another day about which I have to say, “Today I did not write.”
I haven’t got forever. I want to write the things that are in me. I know I can overflow with ideas. I just have to show up and keep showing up, and over time they will come to the surface for recording.
I realized last night that these two words were only different in the order of two letters, and I thought it was interesting. I even wondered if I couldn’t do something with the observation. Make it the point of something. (Perhaps a mistyped note or letter, which says one but meant the other?) The mind of the writer at work.
I am a writer. It’s my ultimate passion. Reading to see how others have done it. Losing myself in the flow when my muse suddenly gives me the Gift like water from a fire hose. The words come so rapidly the action seems violent. But such glory! Such joy! To stand awash in the flood and lose all sense of time and the world around me. That is immortality.
We now return you to May 2008.
I’m happy to say I write regularly now. I’m currently cranking out 1500+ words per day on my first NaNoWriMo novel (I wrote a second one in Nov 2007; it is currently on the back burner, stewing). My life is a miracle and rarely do I look back on my day and think “I didn’t write”.
There is hope for us all.