So you want to be a writer?

Hello again. I don’t want to count the number of times over the years that I’ve started and then stopped writing… to myself, to blogs, to webpages, to the great “out there”. There was this time… oh, and this time and of course, this time. I was trying to be a writer. Sometimes I stopped because it felt I was speaking alone and I can easily do that every day with my own thoughts (and often, frequently, consistently do). Sometimes it was because life got in the way; busy-ness crept in and I easily and swiftly fell away from my conversation.

Most often, however, it’s because I struggled to find things to say. Especially during this pandemic when so much time over two years has been spent isolating from friends, family and society, what on earth is there to talk about? Other than politics (ugh), Tiger King (UGH) or Wordle (this one I can get behind).

Today I am committing to myself to see this through. I have said for years, decades, that I want to be a writer; that I feel I have a story in me that I need to tell. Based solely on my historical perspective of the world, surely that story would resonate with someone. We all really do have threads of our lives that connect us all. They weave us into one great blanket of life and humanity. The question is whether or not we are willing to share our stories, our threads. And if others are willing to listen and then maybe share theirs too.

So, I will share. No lifestyle blogging hacks. Influencer reviews; gone. No trends of the day. Just life; past, present and future tenses.

About these past months…

You may be wondering where I’ve been (or, admittedly you may not but I’m going to tell you anyway). Since we last were together, my partner and I packed up a house. We bought another house, sold a house (much too much later). We moved across this beautiful country of ours, set up a new house and, (ok, ONE trendy part) got COVID.

And so here I sit months later with all of the boxes unpacked, all of the furniture in place, in my beautiful new creative space (I’m not calling it a workspace since I do not technically have a job), looking out my windows to the trees and lake and hills beyond, surrounded by peace, quiet and space. As a gal who grew up in a small town and then spent the entire rest of her life moving more and ever more close to the big city where she was born, this is an adjustment. It is quiet. So very quiet.

Sitting at my desk, I ask myself, 'so you want to be a writer?'
Change of space, change of view

Hiding in the noise

For years after my ex-husband and I separated, I would always have something on when I was at home… the TV, radio, music. Something. When I ran out to do errands or for a quick bite, I’d leave the radio on. Anything so I didn’t come home to silence.

Even when I went to bed, I would have the TV on in my bedroom set on timer so I could fall asleep to the droning sound of any show I’d already seen a million times (more often than not, Sex and the City). If I woke up at night, the quiet would begin to taunt me so on the TV would go, timer set again and I could let my mind follow the mindless journey of the characters on the ‘squawk box’ as my mother used to call it rather than listen to my own inner dialogue. It was never quiet. Never. The quiet served only as a cruel reminder that once upon a time I lived in a home filled with children and noise and laughter and yes yelling and wrestling but most of all, love and now I was alone. Deafeningly, heartbreakingly alone.

Learning takes time

It took me more than 15 years to come to a point where I could sit in the silence and not feel it was just surrounding me with claws scraping away at the wounds of the past. I think because I hadn’t yet come to terms with the aspects of how my marriage ended, why the years after that played out the way they did or how those years of turmoil affected my sons. And last of all, most of all, I hadn’t forgiven myself for any of it.

Time, lots of conversations with lots of supportive friends and family including my sons and certainly lots of therapy guided me slowly but surely to a place where I can sit in silence; even to a place where I could meditate and explore.

The right place for the right time

This new home of ours came to me at the right time. Actually, of course it was here all along so I guess more accurately I became open to this place when I was ready to accept the gift of quiet that she provides. I think, I hope, I believe that it is this gift of quiet that will allow me to define my voice, hear my own story and document it for not only me but for anyone out there who may have a moment of fear, loneliness, heartbreak, shame, or even wonder.

In a previous life

Not too long ago, I was deeply immersed in the corporate world working long hours, days packed with meeting after meeting after meeting only to somehow try to do the actual work I was responsible for in the time left after what is supposed to be an eight-hour day but was filled with nine hours of meetings. Vacations were never true escapes from the expectations of the biggest lie of all when describing working in big companies, the “9-5”. Either you could try to catch up on emails in early mornings or evenings while you enjoyed your “break” or face the hundreds of messages when you return.

And of course, there was always that “urgent” meeting that your attendance was compulsory for otherwise the “deliverables” you were responsible for would fall off and who would be to blame for that other than you of course. It is a seemingly big life with big expectations and big commitments. But is it? Step away from that world and the work carries on, the gap is filled almost instantaneously and before you know it it’s like you never happened in the first place.  

All things come to an end

My career in corporate abruptly ended not long after the pandemic began and I won’t pretend I was not shaken by the reality of it when it happened. But I am a firm believer that the Universe is truly conspiring for our success. I always have been. I just have faith, from somewhere for something better; always something better. I believe at the end of the day, things will be ok; that ‘ok’ may be very different from the ‘ok’ you have right now, but it will be ok. So being out of that “big” corporate life and then just one year later moving away from the busy, big city life to a place where there is little more but the beauty of this earth and your own thoughts, I’m sure at least part of that was the Universe guiding me to where I need to be for now.

In the quiet

I can sit in the quiet here and think. I pay attention to where my mind wanders and make note of recurring issues. When one moves from a life that was so completely packed with so much; work, family, friends, socializing, urban life, more work, to a life that is quiet, secluded almost, certainly far removed from friends and family, it can be a stark awakening. Who am I? I am not my career anymore and to be honest, I’m glad I am in a place where tying my identity to work isn’t an option. It leaves so much room for something else to grow.

And that brings me to the commitment. To write, every single day even when I feel I have no voice, no story to tell, no feelings to explore. On the days of quiet, and trust me, there are LOTS of them, I will write. I will write. And even if no one else in this big, beautiful world reads it, that makes me a writer.

10 responses to “So you want to be a writer?”

  1. […] No way. Not this gal. But I also want you to know that I’m still holding myself accountable to my commitment to writing. I’ve been focusing a lot lately on submitting pieces to contests, a great way to obtain […]

  2. […] On a call with my girlfriends this week, one of them mentioned she had periodically made use of a bullet journal to track motivation and commitment to activities that were important on that day, week, or month. My other friend had never heard of the concept and upon description became immediately anxious over the idea of tracking things in that manner. I, on the other hand, sat firmly in the middle, having toyed with the idea when I saw pic after pic of them filling my Pinterest feed (thanks algorithms). Quickly, I checked myself, knowing how difficult I had already found sticking with more important activities in my life like, oh I don’t know, writing! […]

  3. […] a week off to entertain guests, research and eat, eat, eat I’ve achieved some realizations. My writing practice (writing every day, if only for a few minutes) feels haphazard and surprisingly non-committal. […]

  4. […] It’s a tricky thing, I’ve found, to ease those past voices. For me, it requires pause, reflection, thought, all of which can be counterintuitive when you have a voice inside you shouting “Danger, danger, danger!” Tricky but not impossible and I’d like to think over time, I’ve gotten better at it. But it does require consistent attention and inward focus; probably easier now since it’s so quiet here (as I’ve also mentioned before). […]

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