Friday, July 15, 2011
I Am A Writer
The other day I mentioned to my daughter that I was closing in on day 200. I thought she'd congratulate me. Instead, she chuckled. She found it amusing that her 43 year old mother is finding this blog such a serious part of life, that using this platform would give me so much satisfaction or be a source of pride and accomplishment. I get it. I suppose when you look at it from a certain perspective, it is silly the way I have been self-publishing my writing made up of nothing but daily reflections on my ordinary life. But as I tried to explain to her, I've always wanted to be a writer and this is what a writer does. A writer pushes herself to write every day, to put pen to paper. A writer knows that writing is not easy, that some days there is minimal inspiration, but she pushes herself to get something down. A writer, also, is often much like an actress needing an audience to perform for-- to give her applause and critiques or at least a few smiles of support, a few "Atta girl"s along the way. Just as my performances on stage may not have been everyone's cup of tea, I realize that my topics of conversation are not for all readers. My writing style and voice may grate on some; but every writer has a multitude of reasons for writing. and pleasing others is not often very high on that list. In acting, there is something within that pulls me to an audition, to a rehearsal, to the stage on opening night. There is something that is satisfied only when I am performing. I hope the audience will enjoy what I do, but I'm not looking for a Tony award for my community theater acting and I am not going after a Pulitzer prize for my blog writing. It'd be pretty cool to have these activities serve as stepping stones for something lucrative, however, I won't be giving up my day job. Still, I find joy and self-worth through my craft. It's as simple (or perhaps as complex) as that.
I explained to my daughter that writing and posting to my blog each day has been therapeutic. She said she could understand this. I've alluded to this before, but it's been a tough year. There has been a crazy amount of loss for me to suffer through on various fronts and adjustments to life's many changes have been difficult too. Often, despite having several people close to me, I feel very alone. This is probably because I think way too much all the time. Yet when I take time to type away at my laptop, to think on something or someone that might have a lesson or a perspective or an ounce of gratitude for me to grasp onto and grow from, then I draw a little strength from that day's writing. And when someone gives me a quick "thumbs up" for having shared my writing, I feel arms embracing me, and I feel my lungs filling up with air that lets me take a much needed deep breath.
I think after I explained some of this to my daughter she did understand my perspective better. And I do know that in various individual ways, my family has been quite supportive of my writing and blogging over the past seven months. A mom and wife doesn't just disappear for an hour or longer each day to write without having support. They've done dishes, played taxi, cared for the pets, made dinner at times, and given me time and space to allow me a chance to write.
When television sitcoms reach their 200th episode there is usually a headline in the newspaper or a picture of the cast around a celebratory cake. I'm not looking for cake, but I am going to pat myself on the back tonight at what I have accomplished, despite the fact that my writing is surely self-serving and yes, self-published. If nothing else, whether my 200th blog post gets cake, applause, or just a few chuckles, I say only that I have followed my heart and I have made time for this passion of mine. Along the way I have taken some risks and I have grown. I have learned a lot too, about myself, my writing, and other people too. It's taken time for me to honestly believe but now I can truthfully say to myself and maybe even to others who read this: "I am a writer".