Monday, January 14, 2013

The Process of Waiting..er..Writing

I'm having trouble writing. It happens. I am a writer but I don't always feel gifted at my craft. At times the words cannot get written on the page fast enough and others, well, it's like having the words on the tip of your tongue for days, weeks, months and still they won't come. Frustration.

I started college as a journalism major. I loved it and then I liked it and then I hated it. Unfortunately I did not have good teachers or mentors to help me through that phase and I quickly became a psych major. I loved psychology and thought I could really DO something with a degree in which I could help others work their way through life. And I did. I do. I have met great teachers, studied with minds that blow me away and worked with people who are changing the world. It has been great. But my heart calls me to something else. I am a writer.

I am not yet a published author, though I certainly hope to be described as that one day. Between working, writing analytical reports, being a wife and a mother to my three busy children, my passion is not often my priority. I dream of having a little country cottage (preferably in the English countryside) where I can spend days and weeks at a time honing my craft and getting to know the characters inside my head as they come to life in the written word. Without interruption. What?

I am many, many years away from that, but for now, when the house is quiet and all those other voices that need my attention have been put to sleep for the night, the writer in me can sit and wait for the words to come. And wait.

Sometimes the wait is unbearable but I am rewarded when inspiration meets story line and something is born from that. It's a vulnerable place. A magical place. One that I can so easily get lost in. It makes my heart beat a little faster! Inspiration can be found in the oddest places, when you are least expecting it.

Several years ago, when my husband and I had bought our first home, I was cleaning the closets out, getting ready for our things to be unpacked, and I found a crumpled letter. It was written by a 14 year old girl to her friend who had committed suicide. It was a heartbreaking letter full of the sadness of a girl who didn't understand the cruelness of life. I knew almost immediately that I wanted to tell her story. Characters began to form in my head and I would jot down notes each time I thought of the letter and its author. That was 12 years ago. I have slowly, over this span of time, begun to put a story together. I want to do its author justice and convey the feelings to my readers (that I hope to have) that I felt were being shared from the heart. I hope one day that this story will be given a chance to make a difference. But I have to write it first.

I have begun to surround myself with women who love to write as much as I do. They are inspirational, encouraging and exciting to be around. They have an energy that I understand and want to be a part of. They are there to coax me through the frustration of not feeling worthy and affirm me at my weakest points. I need that. Especially when the words are not coming, and even sometimes when they are, and they appear to not be good enough. I am my harshest critic. I need that outside voice that says "This is really coming along, you are doing great work!" (pat, pat on my back). I have learned a truth about myself, that if I am not affirmed, I tend to crawl up into a ball with all of my doubts hugged tightly to my chest. I need someone, sometimes, to reach in and grab my hand and help me to stand up and loosen my grip. Then I can gain perspective, catch my breath, and wait again, this time with more conviction. These women do that for me and it is a much needed part of the process. This process where I am learning to be vulnerable, as I wait and re-write and scribble out and throw away and start over. Each new start is a baby step to that final product; a finished story. The End.

So, for now, I take baby steps, I relish in the short spurts of time I am allotted to pursue my passion, and I practice, here with you, my reader. For now, I humbly submit my thoughts and ideas to spark conversation and discussion... or not. For now, I write and I wait. {H}

2 comments:

  1. We are our worst critics. So true!

    Glad you have a group of inspirational people to encourage you as you follow your dream. The words will come again. They always do.

    Happy Monday! Visiting from Lisa's place.
    ~FringeGirl

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