There is a part of me that longs to play the keys of my laptop like a word-class, classically trained pianist plays a grand piano, with passion and surety, for the joy of the sound, the feel of the keys giving way under practiced hands.
I want to be the mother and midwife of stories, the body in which they grow, and the means by which they are born.
This desire has been with me most of my life, since I learned to read and write.
In recent years, I have been to the point of nearly giving up, but that desire to write comes back, even if it is unfocused, even when my Inner Critic–me being my own worst enemy–will not get out of my way. I start writing, struggle under the weight of my own expectations, wanting to write poems, novels and short stories to equal the literary greats. (Said greats are a matter of opinion. For the sake of the analogy, pick an author you adore.) When, of course, my idea, my story or poem, doesn’t live up to the comparison, I drop it. (Forgetting that a certain famous writer once proclaimed that all first drafts were, to put it more nicely than he did, excrement.) I call myself a failure, a poser, and scrap it.
I frequently forget one of the main laws of physics, that energy can neither be created nor destroyed, that it merely changes forms.
You see, I have been writing. (I’ve even been writing about not writing, and about wanting to write.) I’ve been writing on OpenDiary.com, where my very first blog (now semi-private, and continuing) is housed, since September 2002. I’ve been writing here, at WordPress, since November 2008. I’ve been writing in my journals.
This comes easily to me. What I think, I write. I tell my story. I let it out, and much of it I release into the world for others to read without worrying myself silly about whether it’s original enough or whatever go ’round I’m having with the Inner Critic about my other writing any given day.
Just because I am not writing novels, short stories, or poems does not mean that I am not a writer. It doesn’t mean I am not giving birth to or being a midwife for stories. I am telling my stories. Maybe, before I can tell a character’s story, I should learn to tell mine.
I just woke up to this today, since I began The Artist’s Way this morning, when I started listening to my Inner Critic’s “blurts” in response to saying that I am a talented and prolific writer. (That was one of the prescribed exercises.) My Inner Critic said, “Yes, but all you’ve finished in the past 3 1/2 years have been journal entries and blog posts!”
My Muse has not been lost. She has simply guided me into a different form. My talent is not lost. It has simply forced me to change my preferred form. Furthermore, this is okay. This is more than okay, it’s good! It’s good to learn to speak my truth, to tell my story, to not hide everything inside my own head, to write, and, by writing, connect with people.
Why didn’t I realize this before?