What is it about the craft of writing that is so special to me? First of all, when I speak I fumble all over my words and cannot seem to manage to say what it is I want to say. The mouth and the brain don’t seem to meet in the middle with me. I have great thoughts but by the time they reach the vocal cords they are completely messed up. There is little more horrifying for me than making the impossible first impression even worse by speaking.
But that isn’t the only reason that writing is the communication form I choose. I have been writing for as long as I can remember. I had all sorts of great stories in my head in school and I loved to bring them to life on paper. I was so excited in English class when we had a creative writing day. Everything about it excited me…brainstorming, word collages, character sketches, setting ideas, and so much more. It was all a blur during those fifteen minutes of free writing: my quickened breathing, heart racing, palms sweating, mind whirring with scenes too fast to get the full picture. I could feel my face flush in the heat that was rising within me. Was I writing or running a race? It sometimes felt like the same thing. But I never got the satisfaction in class of crossing the finish line because it all ended too soon. I wanted it to last forever, or at least until I got the main idea sorted out. Alas, the teacher ruined my progress and textbooks were switched with creative muse. Ah, the hell of it all.
I didn’t suffer for long though. I was up in the wee hours of the night writing by moonlight or a dim bedside table light. A poem, a short story, a quick character sketch – that was all it took to satisfy the need burning inside. This feeling and routine continued into the teen years and early adulthood. By my mid-twenties, I was carrying a bag that contained a writing notebook, file of latest ideas being worked on, dictionary, thesaurus, masses of pens, pencils, highlighters, eraser, white out, and a book of writing prompts for when I came against my enemy, Writer’s Block. That bag went with me everywhere…and I do mean everywhere. I worked full time, and the bag came on the bus and my breaks with me. I had a day off, it went to the local Tim Horton’s with me. I went to visit someone, the bag came along too. My writing bag wasn’t just filled with useful things to get by in moments of boredom; that bag was a part of me as much as my arms and legs. I wasn’t complete until I topped off the day with something I had written. I was a writer in every sense of the word. I lived it, breathed it, and loved it.
So what is it about writing, you ask? It’s everything. It’s the turmoil of being stuck, the anxiety of what is missing, the doubt of am I good enough, the earth-moving climax of a finalized edit as it gets turned in for the final time. The passion that comes forth from my fingers while typing on the keyboard or writing with a perfectly flowing pen on nice paper fills me in a way that nothing else can. Very few relationships in my life have even come close to when I write because it is a relationship with the inner me that very few ever meet. Writing is the pathway to the real me. And nothing excites me more than getting to know that person again.
Another moment that is passionately written…