1000 points if that title gives you Nintendo flashbacks. ^_^
(Ah, yes…the 90s…or whenever that thing came out.)
Side Note: This is my 100th Blog Post!!!! throws confetti
Someone posted a thread on the writing forums one day asking: Who or What Made You a Writer? And they had this nice flowery story about the moment they decided they wanted to write. Seriously, folks, it was beautiful and poetic and perfect. And I thought to myself…I never had that moment. I never decided that I wanted to write a story. I just wrote one. Well, I tried. And after that, I tried again. It wasn’t an option. It wasn’t a choice. I just did it. It’s really like I woke up one day and just realized it.
As I was reading over some of the responses, I remembered this moment I had in college. I had just switched my major from Creative Writing to English Education at the insistence of my family that I major in something I can get a job with (because I can always write on the side, they said). I immediately started going through the worst depression of my life. I never wanted to be a teacher. I just wanted a job that would pay my bills until I could be a full time writer. Any job I didn’t hate with a fiery all-consuming passion would do. Really.
So my writing teacher found out. I had already taken one class with him (after which I hated him for forcing me to realize that I could be so much better) and was taking another. And as I was leaving his office one day he looked me right in the eye and said, “Please, don’t ever stop writing.”
And I wanted to cry. Because I had already stopped writing. The education classes were keeping me so busy that in my free time, all I wanted to do was sleep. I dreaded graduating. I grilled every single high school & middle school teacher I crossed paths with. “What do you do for fun? Do you write? Do you have time to write between grading papers and crap?” And they were all tired and worn out. And they all said no. And people told me that it was their own fault. If they wanted to write they would make time. But no one was making time. They were all too tired. And I felt desperate and horrible and all I could think about was writing and how being an education major was killing my soul.
I realized that I had to start writing again. Because if I didn’t, I would die.
People think I’m being dramatic when I say this, but a storyteller is just who I am. I’ve always told stories. I didn’t even realize I was doing it. It was just a natural extension of who I am. I look at people who love writing, but also love other stuff and can do other stuff and have a balance, and I’m in awe. I like to do other things, of course. But I wonder if I’m just weird because I put writing before everything else I like to do. Often before stuff I actually really need to do. I’ve been told to take a break from it. I’ve been told I think about it too much. But I only take breaks when I have to, and I wish I could think about it more. Writing saved my life. And it never mattered what else I was doing. I only wanted to make sure I had time to write. And if I couldn’t, because I was at a football game, I read a book. That’s right. At a football game, with all the shouting and the noise and the band. That’s how much I love reading. I can shut everything out. And it’s the same when I write. It’s everything to to me.
I know I’m probably never getting published unless I do it myself. I accept that. One the peeves I have though is when people try to convince me that I wasn’t born this way, that it’s just something I do, that it’s just a hobby. Well, it’s not. And it never was. Sewing is a hobby for me. I’ve made entire outfits and costumes, complete with head pieces and accessories and embellishments. That doesn’t make me a fashion designer. I love to sing, and I’ve written music and lyrics. But I’m not a songstress or a song writer. Those are hobbies. I don’t live and breathe them. I do them sporadically. There’s a difference, you know. Everyone is different.
And there is room for everyone. But for me, it’s Write or Die (and not the software program). If I could aspire to something else, believe me, I would. And I’ve tried. But I always come back to writing because I have to. I literally can’t be happy without it. But truth is, writing is hard. And lonely. And often very much unappreciated. Finding a writing community has been like, the best thing ever for me. Even just one person to talk to can make all the difference in my day when I’m bogged down with a story that won’t act right or hopelessness or rejection.
So I want to thank all of the writers out there who are like me. Thank you for being my kind of weird. ^_^