While sitting at my coffee house office, I began to wonder why in the world people ask writers why they write? The typical response is “Because I want to, because I can or because I’m good at it.” But for me–it’s just silly. I write because it is in me and it has to come out. When I start writing a story, I feel it in my bones like an itch. I write and write until I feel relief. When night time comes, I grow restless if I have not finished the story. I need to. I need to get back to the world I’ve created. I don’t think you understand Mr. Sandman, my story is happening right now.
There is a natural negative stigma associated with writers, especially before they get published. “You can do anything when you grow up….you want to be an engineer? Great! A Doctor? Fantastic. An Architect? We need you. A Writer? Hmm……Phil—what do we do with this weirdo?”
This attitude is highly prevalent of people who have absolutely no clue about writing and publishing. The idea seems as distant and far off to reach as the galaxy. “It’s not possible to make it,” they’ll tell you or say in a solemn voice, “Good Luck.” However, they do not waste any time regaling the book they’ve just read and how amazing it is. Can you feel the irony? It is so thick you might just slip in it.
Writers need to trudge on no matter what and keep the faith that’s in the darkest part of your heart alive and well. Water it daily with words…give it journal or a keyboard to feed on. Anything to keep the beast inside happy.
Growing up in a family surrounded with education, my dream to write a novel was akin “coming out.” For years, I kept my passion secret and guarded to my heart. As I aged and when the idea of writing full time came to me it concerned my adult siblings that I would take my “play time” so seriously.
Of course, it was a secret to no one. My pens and endless love of browsing journals at Barnes and Noble or the fact that I would scurry away during a conversation to scribble down notes like a little mouse all gave me away. The feeling that being a writer is an inadequate choice as a career is incredibly common. For years, I asked myself what else in the world could I do besides writing? Something that would be legitimate and make myself and everyone else proud. Moreover, a title that would allow me to fit better with my family of engineers, psychologists, forensic scientists, nutrition, and business.
I could have been a social scientist, a lawyer, or a business professional. But luck, fate, and my heart have always made me hesitate. I’d be swimming against my own stream and it would have been a struggle. Now, I’m ready to stop closing the door on my own dreams and reach for the moon. The Writer Mouse will send you a postcard when I get there.