(This post is in response to the prompt “How did you become a writer?” for the DIY MFA Book Club that started today. Click here for more information on the club.)
I have heard from many writers that the desire to write began early on. My own journey to the keyboard came a bit later. For over half of my life, I felt I had nothing to say that anyone would want to hear. I had no voice of my own. The word accident was mentioned often in my formative years and left its mark – I spent much of that time proving I had worth, proving I had a reason to exist. I lived my life as a victim unaware of my own power.
Each of us is here to fulfill a purpose, a soul mission.
I spent over thirty years living this way, giving all of my time and energy away to others. Inevitably, a health crisis stopped me in my tracks and forced me take a hard look at my life. Through a lot of reading, learning and soul searching, I came to realize the truth of my existence – that there are indeed no accidents. Each of us is here to fulfill a purpose, a soul mission. I have learned that we are all connected and there is enough abundance for everyone. I have also learned that jealousy is a sure sign that I’m ignoring my own soul’s call, usually due to fear.
During this time of personal growth, the desire to help others move from a place of victim to power was born. I wrote, but kept everything to myself. The fear of rejection has always been one of my biggest demons. It wasn’t until I went to college at age 36 that I began to truly know myself, my needs and desires. I went into college as a wife, mother, daughter and sister, but came out of it as me. Since my graduation three years ago, I have been slowly stretching my legs as a writer. I’ve stepped a little out of my comfort zone by submitting pieces and creating a blog, but have not promoted it much. My desire for validation is constantly at war with my fear of being found a fraud, a failure.
My desire for validation is constantly at war with my fear of being found a fraud, a failure.
I began writing a memoir of my time in college as an adult student when my daughter was in a bad accident. Through the following months of doctor appointments and carpool lines, an idea for a novel began to appear. I had never written fiction, so this was surprising to say the least. The initial idea came to me through my morning pages (a tool in The Artist’s Way by Julia Cameron) and little snippets of ideas would come to me at random times and I would write them down. It was like piecing together a puzzle.
Through that time of taking care of my daughter, my graphic design business all but dried up and still isn’t anywhere near where it was. This past November, I was taking care of a foster pup going through heartworm treatment and decided to take the NaNoWriMo challenge – if for no other reason than to prove to myself that I could write a book. I was overwhelmed by the notes, research and ideas I had written in various notebooks. Signing up added the accountability I needed to help me push through the fear and just do it. I haven’t started revising and editing yet. I hope to get a bit more knowledge and courage to tackle that from this course. I don’t have a writer community to speak of as of yet and hope to develop that too.
Other days I feel like a wandering nomad with no direction whatsoever.
Some days I feel like a designer, some days I feel like a writer. Other days I feel like a wandering nomad with no direction whatsoever. I have concepts for several books inside me. I have to believe these were given to me for a reason, but I need a little help getting them out into the world. Despite the fear, I look forward to the coming steps in my path as well as new friends and the stories they bring. Fritz Pearls said, “Fear is excitement without the breath,” so I’m taking a deep breath and diving in.