Do you want to know something weird? One of my favorite sounds is the one that my keyboard makes as I’m writing stories. There’s probably nothing that brings me greater joy and comfort than hearing those keys knowing that each word I type is just a small piece to a bigger, greater puzzle. This might seem like a small thing but, for me, it’s a true acknowledgement that I love writing and everything that comes along with it. Which is why I find it so interesting that, I don’t think if you would have ever asked me in my if my dream was to be a writer, I would have replied yes. Being a writer was never something I thought about doing. It wasn’t a thing that I thought I could achieve. It wasn’t a thing that I even knew people, personally, did. Writer was never a dream…
As a child, I could lose myself faster in a book than I could anything else. And I’ve been writing poems and short stories for as long as I can remember. It was this, probably, that led to one of the reasons I never entertained the idea of being a writer. Because the idea of writing only came to me in the form of a book. And that seemed like such a huge feat to undertake. Especially for someone who struggled with turning in a 5 page college essay on time.As I got older, my love for written word never left me. I loved writing but the world and life had distorted my view of what writing truly was. What it could truly be.
As an adult, my escape from the 9 – 5 life, the only professional life I’ve ever known, came in the form of writing. The universe is sly like that. This career or life that I’ve always been drawn to, but never gave the chance to be, was exactly what gave me the professional freedom I’ve longed for. But even then–because remember, I’m the stubborn learner–I didn’t recognize myself as a writer. Nothing about the way that I could effortlessly string together a few words to form sentences that people actually paid me for, stood out to me as extraordinary. Even though it was that very talent that was providing for my family.
Maybe it was because I wasn’t writing the stuff that made my soul come alive. I wasn’t writing the stories that were buried deep within my bones. And while the things that I was writing about are all things that are important to different people, when you get a certain kind of feedback on a certain kind of work, it’s easy to fall into the mindset that maybe that’s the only thing you’re good at. To think, maybe that’s the kind of writer I am.
I have written so many words. Countless. In journals, on this blog, on my old blog. Both published and hidden. And many still lurking in my drafts. And for all the heart and all the soul that I have poured into some of those posts, it’s an odd pill to swallow when the result after publish is silence. A vastly different world from the one where a client could ask me to put my magic on a paragraph, and in an hour’s time after the task is complete, I open my email to feedback like “PERFECTION. You just get it.” These things, for the “artist who is sensitive about her shit”…can distort the mind and has many times left me feeling like…maybe that’s not the kind of writer I am.
As I’ve settled into my life as a freelance writer & editor…(one of) my dreams has become clear. I want to be a writer. I am a writer. But I want to be the writer that I am in my heart. The one who writes the stories inside her. And as I realize this, all I can think about is the countless reasons that Elizabeth Gilbert tells us we have to chase and pursue our most deepest creative endeavors. Big Magic…
I’ve learned over the past year that, this is a gift. And it’s my dream/duty/goal/Personal Legend (The Alchemist strikes again) to honor it as much as I can, as many ways as I can, for the time that I am here on this earth.