Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Why Do You Write?

I was asked, why do you write?  It was a question that absolutely perplexed me.  I wanted to say that I have always written.  However, that was not quite true.  I went through a period of time when I refused to write.  Oh I did some role playing games and some fictional play in forums, but I did not commit words to paper.  I also read a lot.

My life went far wide of my original intent to be a published writer one day.  I became a mother.  I studied English later in life in college.  I also took a minor in psychology so I could understand people.  I watched and waited.  I did some teaching and I became a counselor, which is still a form of teaching.   I still did not write.

One day, with a push from a good friend, Alex Hunt, I began to write.  I had stopped writing for so long that it felt foreign at first.  I write like Pollock painted, unconsciously.  I have went back to read what I wrote for a period, and have been surprised at the turn of events.  How is that possible I have been asked?

It is possible because teaching and writing are my calling.  Now when I say writing, I do not mean punctuation, homonym perfect, sentence correct prose.  I mean content.  It is someone else's calling to edit.  I can guarantee that it is not mine.  That is another thing that I do find odd given that I went to school to teach English and did very well in college.  It is not my gift... my calling to create the perfectly crafted paragraph.  My gift is visualizing a story.  I see it like a movie as my fingers fly across the computer.  I write so hard and so fast that I had to have the keyboard replaced on my laptop.  I wore the numbers right off the keys.

I believe that each of us is born with a calling.  I refuse to believe that we are an accidental arrangement of genes and our life is predetermined by the circumstances of our birth, the trauma we experience, and our social placement.  Regardless of culture, there is a belief in something beyond what psychology can explain.  It has been called soul, spirit, guardian angel, totem, spirit guide, spirit animal and much more.  Modern psychology has removed this element from theory and I believe they harm us in the process.  What ever you call it, it guides us to our purpose if we can listen to it.  Unfortunately, so many people have a judge in their head that silences that still small voice.

They say there are less geniuses born in our day in age.  Less born, or have we trained it out of their reach?  Our society makes the human being a victim of birth, trauma, and our genetic code.  I call BS.  For each person who  has had a trauma in their life and it has defined them, you can find someone who has had the same trauma and risen above it.  It is not the past that defines us, but how we interpret that past.

I have stage four, metastasized colon cancer.  It may take me out of the gene pool earlier than I would like.  It will not define me.  I have traveled three days off chemo, I have written a 115k novel in the midst of chemo, three surgeries and a wildfire.  It doesn't make me amazing.  I just had motivation to live.  My stories aren't told yet and I know that my calling is to tell them.  There are people I have not taught yet, and I still  have to find them.  I can't allow cancer to get in the way of that.  Did it slow it down?  Of course it did.

When I teach Moral Recognition Therapy to other counselors, one of the things we teach is about your ghost hobbies.  Your ghost hobbies appear if you can fill in the blank - I have always wanted to... (              ).  What goes in there?  If you say nothing, you are probably already living your life's purpose.  If you can fill in the blank, there is something about that way of being, that activity, that is tied to your inner purpose.

I guess this is the long way of my saying that the reason I write... is because I need to.  I have to.  I will explode if I do not.  Once I started, I could not stop.  I write every day.  I have to remind myself to stop and read as that is important to the skill of writing.  It is like a flood pouring out of me, once that dam was opened, it seems as if it can no longer be contained.

My next goal is to finish up all the challenge writes as I put a new polish on Outcast.  Now that I have found my voice and the words flow easily, I want to go back and double check that first novel.  Not for misspelling, ( though we will be watching for that) but for that insight into events, characters and life that seems to well from me now that my own life is in danger.  I have no doubt that I will write till the day before I draw my last breath.