I'd like to begin by sharing a quote from Anne Lamott's book BIRD BY BIRD. This book, by the way, has now moved to the top of my MUST-READ BOOKS ABOUT WRITING list. So here's the quote from the introduction: "But I still encourage anyone who feels at all compelled to write to do so. I just try to warn people who hope to get published that publication is not all that it is cracked up to be. But writing is. Writing has to much to give, so much to teach, so many surprises. That thing you had to force yourself to do--the actual act of writing--turns out to be the best part. It's like discovering that while you thought you need the tea ceremony for the caffeine, what you really needed was the tea ceremony. The act of writing turns out to be its own reward." Anne Lamotte BIRD BY BIRD p.xxvi
Wow, is that ever true, and did I ever need a reminder? I write because I can't NOT write. It's a part of what I need to do. It's a part of my interaction with myself, the world, and now through this blog, others. This blog was a big risk for me because it asks others into the formerly very private world of my musings. When I write, I lay it all out there, and sometimes in a painful way. My neuroses are there for the world to see (and comment upon for that matter!). But still I do it. Another example from the book likens writing to milking a cow. The cow feels better afterward and ideally, someone wants to drink the milk. I really get that as a mom because, I don't know about you other moms, but when I nursed, I sometimes had to use an electric breast pump. I was REALLY into how much milk I pumped. I would hold up the bottles for my husband to see. "Look how much!" and if someone bumped me and it spilled, watch out. It was like gold. I felt productive after I expressed myself, much like writing. (pun intended)
Writing is the cheapest therapy in town, and you can trust it. It's individualized instruction. And it's possible to let people into your session, like your friends and your husband, if you hit upon something they might want to better understand.
Writing is a magical thing, but just because it's magical doesn't mean it's easy. I love to read about Walt Disney. I mean, what a vision. Do you think anything he accomplished was easy? (okay, aside from the McCarthy business--focus on the subject of creativity) If you haven't read the Imagineering books, they're fascinating how Disney pushes and pushes the bar of creativity to offer a magical experience for families. We have the potential for magic at our fingertips, but it's hard work. We have to push the envelope every day, never give up, and work to hone the vision. But it is magical. Amazing. And it's within each of us. Just asking to be let out.
I love my writing friends so much for a variety of reasons, but one of the biggies is that they GET ME and my need to write. They understand when I say I haven't written in a few days. They've been that bitch on wheels before, the woman who's too busy to write and they understand that's like being too busy to breathe. They understand when I say I've got a great idea because I know they've all been there.
So tonight, I propose a toast to all my writing friends.
May you be grateful, enjoy the process, and fall in love with your work all over again. Stand tall and say I AM A WRITER. xoxox
My Mission Statement
I write to serve, to unite, to educate. I write to share literature and flesh out ideas that may be of interest to others. I write to document an emotion, experience, or a blip in time. My mission is to write in such a way that the reader is reminded that we can find humor in all situations. It's one of the great blessings of life.