Fingerprints across the Pages
What makes us toil at a job that is often beyond the limelight, looked down at by others with their snide off-hand comments, and generally takes our all? Love, plain and simple. If we didn’t care about what we put down on that page, the stories we have to tell, the driving inspiration behind them, we wouldn’t do it. Because we do face rejection after rejection, sleepless nights, scattered thoughts, shows us how committed to writing we are.
To an outsider, writing a book sounds easy enough. They don’t see us poised over our paper, computer, scratch notes, napkins even, scribbling away for just that right sentence or idea that will advance the plot. The starving artist has long been both a romantic and tragic figure though that’s not often the case. Nowadays, we work full-time jobs, raise kids, sneak a load of laundry and housekeeping in here and there to tame the mess, all the while tapping our fingers to the keyboard.
It’s a passion that drives us to crawl out of bed at 2 a.m. in the morning to write that latest scene. What would I do without this career? Be a lot less happy. To me, writing is an escape, my saving grace. I love to relay my stories to others, to bring a smile to their face, laughter to their lips, and terror to their hearts. It makes my day when I get positive responses. For years, I had to fight the wish to write because it wasn’t deemed “practical” or acceptable by society’s standards. But you can’t change the yearning inside.
Eventually, you find a way to stoke the flames even if only for ten minutes a day. I haven’t always believed in myself, but I’ve always known that what I put down on a page was good. Not great, at first, no, but there was a seed, a kernel, that told me what I was doing was right. True to myself.
Storytelling, I’m convinced comes from deep within us. If we don’t have the fuel to sustain it, we’ll wander away again. Listen to your dreams, those snippets of conversation that cause a spark, a billboard that catches your eye. They’re all kindling. I still study, study, study my craft. You have to, to keep up in this business. The more you learn the better chance you have.
I don’t have the answers to how to avoid the confrontations, glazed eyes, general contempt from others when you announce one day your intentions to write a book. But the longer you keep at it, the less those things will bother you. It’ll inspire you to write deeper, more in touch with yourself than before, if only to prove to the naysayers you’ve got a chance, what it takes.
So if you have the wish inside to write, but are afraid to pick up that pen, open that document, don’t bury it. Let it grow, build a fire inside. You can and will blaze a new path in your life, find the stepping stone that you needed to all along. Don’t doubt yourself. Writing can be a healing profession; it can also take you higher than the stars.