Friday, July 15, 2011

On Writing

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.*

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