I didn’t choose to be a writer. In fact, had I known what it entails, I would have rejected it wholeheartedly. The ideas that nag at my consciousness in the middle of the night or worse yet, don’t allow me to sleep at all and the subsequent hours spent trying to string together coherent words are analogous to labor pains. And lest I forget, the in-between torment---the collecting of data and emotional experiences that precedes having what to write about---is mentally grueling.
Undoubtedly, this road is paved with loneliness and isolation. It is, by nature, antisocial. One must spend lots of time in solitude---enraptured in deep reflection---to churn out something meaningful.
It is both a blessing and a curse.
Financially, it makes absolutely no sense either. On an hour-to-hour and dollar-to-dollar basis, most any other business proves more profitable. Perhaps only the starving musician or hungry painter can relate to the soul's unforgiving yearning for self-expression.
I lost part of my hearing years ago and have recently entered into the lazy-phase, the stage where I stop trying so hard to understand the spoken word, and stop faking like I do. The social grace of nodding-while-smiling has become obsolete. I’m too tired to try so hard. I'd rather read about it.
And my five rowdy kids, all talking at once, never let me get a word in anyway. So I forsake verbal communication and retreat into my own head space.
I always felt more comfortable releasing feelings by putting pen to paper and all factors converged to make it “official” two years ago when I got my first gig. Before then, the backs of the kids’ school field-trip permission slips, the dorsal side of bank statements, and anything else I could get my hands on, provided instant relief from the ambush of thoughts.
Nonetheless, my writer’s fate caught up with me organically.
It pains me to admit that the more I read about the lives and habits of other writers, the more I realize I am right where I belong. We are an eccentric bunch, a cocktail of creativity and madness. We are complex by nature, and oftentimes, much more troubled than our non-writer counterparts. For many of us suffer from an inability to turn off the mind.
But I guess that is what makes us special (in a pathetic sort of way.) We are the sacrificial lambs, renouncing our own sanity to question, over-analyze and ponder issues to the point of personal discomfort---until we gain enlightenment. And then we spend countless hours digging for the perfect words to most eloquently articulate our insights so that others can relate. So that we feel connected.
As a young writer, (not in age, but in writing time) I need to bond with my readers. This bridge enables me to feel part of a community of like-minded thinkers, and not so detached and alone.
I write about the hungers of the female spirit, moments of clarity and deliver quirky anecdotes about the constant tug-of-war between personal passions and motherhood.
And even when seized by raw sentiment, I try to inject a little humor---even if it kills me—-because I do believe that is what ultimately keeps me sane.
And pressing on through the shadows of uncertainty.
What keeps you grounded and afloat, even in the toughest of times? I want to know about you.