So, this is one of those blog posts that I had to check whether or not it was insulting to my husband. He doesn’t think so, which means I am sharing it with all of you.
Before I started solidly writing and made a decision to write every day without fail, I felt like I was missing something. Don’t get me wrong. I have a wonderful family and amazing friends – these are top quality people! I have a great job and I love nothing more than playing dress ups with my toddler and scaring Daddy when he comes home at night.
Despite this wonderful life there was a pit in my stomach. Something that hadn’t been filled with the ridiculous amount of love, smiles and laughter I got every day. Some people might think it’s selfish, and that’s okay because it is in a way. Writing is selfish. Being creative is selfish and for a long time I wasn’t alright with that. People needed my time, I had to work late, I had a baby, I had a husband, a home, and I had commitments. None of this was conducive to locking myself away and writing for no other reason then I enjoyed it.
Writing was pushed aside, manuscripts put in the bottom drawer and shuffled through as I looked for the cat’s hair brush. They stared at me, the characters in the pages begging to be finished, wanting me to give them an ending, any ending would have been better than just forgotten words shoved into a drawer.
I felt guilty. I found it hard to reconcile the writer with the person I was. How could I possibly take time away from my family to write about people that don’t matter, about things that are in my head, that will probably never be published or recognised or help anyone. What a frivolous use of my time.
Then I found my manuscript on the kitchen table. My husband had found it and dug it out. All the pages were in order and all the crinkled and crumbled bits flattened out as much as he could. I started reading and I didn’t want to stop. I didn’t even remember writing half of the words on the page. It was like someone had taken the words out of my head and printed them out, and weaved it into a pretty good story. I read it all in one sitting. It wasn’t finished but I had an explosion of ideas. I turned over a page and jotted down all of the points that were missing and what was going to happen. Especially how it was going to end.
For the first time in a long time I put my pen down and exhaled. Properly. The pit in my stomach gone. Just utter contentment. It was surreal and for a moment everything was fine. Then I felt guilty. Guilty for not talking to these characters for a while and trapping them in the bottom drawer. I felt guilty too because I should have gotten other things done while I was reading.
Later, I asked why he got it out from the bottom drawer? He said because he wanted to know how it ends. So I finished it. Typing that last word on the page, I got the same feeling of contentment as I did from brainstorming. It was then I realised that only I had control of how much writing I did or not, that only I could make myself feel whole, it wasn’t up to my exceptional family and friends to fill that void. It was up to me.
As I write this blog post I realise how many people I can reach, that the words aren’t nothing, the characters will live one way or another. After reading Man Meets World, one of my exceptional friends Fran, told me that she was waiting on my second book, because the characters are real for her. That she’s excited about ‘the wedding’ and wanted to know how several characters were doing.
And that, ladies and gentlemen, is why I continue writing.
Why do you do it? Is it because you are missing something that only writing can give you? Or is it something else?
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