I’ve mentioned in other posts that I started writing at age seven, and that is completely true. I wrote incessantly for years.
And then stopped.
I became a wife, a mother, an employee. I went to graduate school and learned how to think and write in an academic fashion. And the imagination and fearlessness that had fueled my writing before turned into a stultifying professionalism combined with anxiety, fear, and the feeling that I was never, ever going to be good enough.
I didn’t put pen to paper or fingers to keyboard in any meaningful way until last year. Just to be clear…I’m 46 years old. It is about 24 years of not writing.
My oldest child is now eighteen and headed to college. It made me realize that I’d better start doing something for me, myself, and I, because my kids are growing up and leaving. Six years from now my youngest heads to college. Six years used to seem like a long time. Now, it seems like nothing. My husband and I are already talking about selling the house.
The characters were still talking in my head. So many times I would go for a walk and some great scene would pop up. I would think, “I need to write that down,” and then wouldn’t. The voices decided not to continue to stay silent and the need for an outlet grew along with the need to just take care of me.
Eventually, I started writing again. It took a bit. I was terrible and hesitant at first. Hesitant writing is bad writing.
I got more brave. I started telling people I was a writer. I started this blog. I spoke about my writing with my family, even my parents. I spoke about my writing with other writers.
So now, I ask, why am I writing and why do I write? Because it is really hard and no one who doesn’t love it shouldn’t do it. You have to love it. It has to, at some deep level, make you happy. And it does.
In the end, I write because it makes me happy to do so.