I remember the first story I ever wrote. I was in first or second grade, I believe. Somehow, it doesn’t surprise me that my first story was a horror. I’ve always had a twisted streak. I enjoy irony. It makes me giggle. And thus, my first story was a demonstration of irony.
To boil down the plot: It is Halloween and a little girl is trick or treating. She becomes aware of being followed, and every time she tries to see who it is, she can’t. Finally, she ducks behind a tree in hopes of spying who it is. Out comes this giant 9 foot tall celery stick. The celery stick grabs her and tells her: “You eat me all the time. Now it’s my turn to eat you!” And that is the end of the story.
I think I was protesting celery. I never did like it much.
The actual mundane act of writing–holding a pen or pencil to paper or typing letters on a keyboard– can create magickal results. Catharsis. Relief. Joy. Hope. Perhaps with my celery story I was hoping Mom wouldn’t make me eat it any more after she read it.
But more than a way to purge emotions, writing is a way for me to create. In writing, one gets to be God. I create whole worlds, people and conflicts. I save and destroy as I wish. It is a heady mix of power and muse. I love it. I always have.
For many years, I gave up my dream of writing, because I didn’t think there was a future in it. The people I knew all told me that it was unrealistic, people didn’t make money writing and I should be more practical. Thus, I stuffed my writing desires in the back of some tiny compartment in my heart and focused on the business of life.
Despite that, writing still served me well. I wrote a journal in order to bring me out of a major depression after divorcing my first husband. Writing never seemed very far from me as I contributed to my college newspaper and wrote newsletters over the years. When I went back to college, writing took on a more clinical taste as I wrote essay after essay for my classes.
It wasn’t until I took some scriptwriting classes that somehow my desire managed to bust out of the little prison in my heart. I wrote several short scripts and had a blast. The act of creating was like a drug. It was FUN! It was SATISFYING! It felt, well, GOOD.
I finally came to the conclusion that whether or not I make money on my writing, I’m not going to let that stop me from writing the way I want to. Writing will be more than just a tool, to be used only when necessary. I will write, and write some more. I will be the writer I always wanted to be.
*Re-posted from my Walknroll blog dated Sept. 11, 2010.*