Waking the artist

 So I’ve figured out now how easy it was, once upon a time, to give up my writing- I was homeless, no place to keep anything except a backpack which, as I remember, quickly filled and choosing which items to toss became agonizing. I was young, foolish and made spontaneous choices that nearly always ended in some lesson learned the hard way. But as I got older, as I somehow took advantage of friends’ good graces and other resources, and got myself settled down. Took a long time. But then what?

 I had a few kids… the entire time thinking that as I was deemed smart enough, there HAD to be something I could do with myself, other than be a glorified calculator, input data entry, be a part-time book keeper. Something that took all the “stuff” I’d learned and the creativity I knew I had, the inventiveness that got me noticed as a young adult, before I left the real world for less tangible experiences. There had to be SOMEthing that I could apply myself to. Never once realizing I had one tool that never left, even though I threw away the evidence- I can write. Even the stuff I don’t like that much has in it the possibilities for great stories.

 I’ve always been able to pump out that 5 page essay hours before the deadline, with little effort, and still get a better-than-passing grade. I’ve always enjoyed the exercises I learned from creative writing classes I took in San Francisco. I inherently use many tools used for writing in other parts of my life, but never thought twice about it. Until suddenly, the idea of actually going beyond a short story no longer daunted me. Somehow, coming here and finding so many writers of so many different backgrounds and talents, has woken that dormant beast. Now I’m a slave… and now it’s so much FUN – it’s better than that ultimate earthly pleasure, sex. Really.

 I’m never stopping, until I have no use of my hands or mouth. Making up a fantasy world and story line this last week has been the most gratifying experience, and taking ONE day off was the strangest thing- I don’t think I could give it up for more than that again … not now- not ever. Not willingly.

 Here’s to waking an artist; evoking emotional responses from readers, and creating a reality that overwhelms their own when they sink into the pages. Here’s to writing the book I always wanted to read…

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