Inspired by a recent intellectual exchange . . .
We spend a great deal of our years figuring out who we are and what we want to do with our lives. That’s most of us. Some of us, don’t spend any time contemplating this and do whatever, whenever, without any real direction. Depending on how you go about it, you either waste a fair amount of time thinking about life when you could be living that life, ultimately ending up on the path you were always destined to be on. There really is no right or wrong way. And I’ve been a hybrid—going between thinking and living, thinking and living. The living is a lot more “fun”, for sure. But I gotta say, some things are not for play. They are not about seeing how you do at it for sport; they are about realizing yourself and planting that spectacular gift in rich soil. Some things you either are or you aren’t.
We all have a special gift given to us from our Creator. Matter of fact, we usually are gifted with such an abundance of His gifts, that we spend our lifetime discovering them all. Being a writer is one of my gifts. It may have taken many years for me to come to grips with this gift of mine but the signs were always there. I dabbled with it, and I talked about that in my very first post on this blog right here. But I always knew even in my denial, but probably before I knew—no I’m sure of it actually, someone else knew. My mother knew I was given this gift. Then my teachers saw it. Then my friends who received long-winded notes when the question was simple, knew. Then, my first boyfriend knew it when I responded to his letters with, well, that’s my secret.
When you reach that place where you’ve either thought about it too much or when you’ve played around so much, and you still haven’t figured out whether to be or not to be, pay attention to the clues. Has it always been inside of you? Have others noticed it too? How does it make you feel when you use this God-given gift of yours? Chances are each response will tell you whether you should be . . . whatever it is.
For me, the answer was a resounding yes. Because nothing else allows me such freedom, than sharing my soul with words. I mean, absolutely nothing else. I can’t talk about my characters enough. I can’t dream about them enough. I HAVE to write about them. There is no other way. And I don’t only have my story to tell. Matter of fact, my life isn’t interesting enough, to sell it.
Someone said to me once, that everyone has at least one book in them and I can understand that. I think this is why you have to ask yourself, to be or not to be? Writing fiction is not about, I had this experience and I want the world to hear about it, so I’m going to write a book and maybe fictionalized it a bit, but it’s really about me. At least I don’t think being a fiction writer is about that. No. I think if you do that, you will never continue because of the long nights and discipline it requires. You’ll always talk about writing something but never actually write. Writing won’t be your gift as much as needing to inspire someone with your story. And inspiring may be your gift. It’s a great gift needed in this world.
If I told my story and I have, in a short story I wrote that only one person read, I’d be done. Finished. No more writing for me. I would never have published any work and wouldn’t be on the brink of publishing another. Because this isn’t about me when it all boils down to it. There are way too many stories to tell and I wish I was given enough time to get them all out. That’s how excited I am about this realized gift of mine.
This is not for play, although I feel absolutely liberated in doing it. Writing for me, is me.
So ask yourself, to be or not to be? And then be it.
Are you following the clues? What’s your gift?