Why did I become a writer?

Sometimes I just want to sit with my head in my hands and moan. “Where is my writing career headed since I don’t have the spark or energy to keep going?” That’s when the other part of me, the more sensible, compassionate, understanding part grips the negative part of me by the back of the collar and, shaking gently, says, “You didn’t choose to write as a career path. It hand-picked you!”

I raised my head and stopped my murmuring. “What the–?” I asked my other half. “But how? I don’t remember writing coming by my house and kicking in the door. I was just taking an intro English writing course at the local community college with no plans to write anything but a boring blog nobody read but me. I wrote non-sense articles, minding my peas and cucumbers. It was like my journal. No stress. No success.”

But the part of me who knows better, I’ll call her Hope, shook her half of my head. “You silly goose. You’ve always had the makings of a writer; you just didn’t want to believe you could.”

Believe. Believe I could. That’s powerful stuff.

I’d been so busy cruising through life on mediocre speed; I’d missed the call from my muse – Hope. So I cuffed my hand to my ear and listened. I had to really concentrate. No distractions.

At first I heard only the annoying springtime bird, some call it a Northern Mockingbird, that delights in belting out his obnoxious serenade at midnight, around the time I’m trying to drift into dreamland. Then my neighbor’s pool equipment made some sucking, gurgling noises and I knew he’d let the level of his pool water get too low. I heard an airplane just taking off or returning to the local airport and wondered if they loved flying up through the clouds above the green, growing farm area we live in. I strained, leaned closer, cupped my ear tighter. But I couldn’t hear my muse.

No. Wait! I heard something. It was like the singing down in Whoville. It started in “low then started to grow.” It was Hope’s voice – the voice of an angel – soft and sweet.Hope “You’ve always been a writer,” she sang. “Believe in your voice and your wisdom. Trust the thoughts you were blessed with. Listen to the melody of your characters who are begging for the chance to change the world with their stories of struggle and triumph. You can change the world one reader at a time.”

My gut started to stutter, and not from eating way too many slices of pizza. This was the real-deal, the earth-shattering kind of change the kind, the starts building in the souls of your feet and doesn’t stop until it pops the top of your head off with ideas. “Wow!” I shouted. “I can feel it!”

Hope took my half of our face between both of our hands and looked me in our eyes. “Just like Dorothy Gale who learned that wanting something wasn’t enough. You have to make things happen. You have to plan, make lists, suffer through set-backs, wade through critique comments, overcome self-doubt, and throw off bad advice from people who don’t have your best interests at heart.” She smiled at me with our dark gray-blue eyes and our generous mouth. “Trust you. Trust your writing. Is it perfect? Absolutely not. Will it get better? You can cash that check at the ATM.” She grinned with the more balanced side of our mouth. “You don’t call me Hope for no reason. You’ll always have Hope.”

I thought about that for a long time. I did have my angel of muse – my Hope, but I’d forgotten to listen to her sweet counsel.

Are you like me?

Do you sometimes fret and endure frustrations when you consider your career, be it writing or digging ditches? Something burns within you – something the world needs. We just have to believe.

Tell me what you want, what you desire most in your life.

Share with me your passion, because sharing makes our passions grow as we help one another.

4 Comments

  1. So true Carol! Writing is very vulnerable because you are putting your heart and ideas out into the world. Thanks for sharing!

    • Thank you for commenting. So often the writer’s life is so solitary and lonely. I’m still learning how to build a group of followers and supporters. We can’t do it alone.

  2. One of the things you are really good at is putting in the grunt work to make something great. I think you’ve lassoed your muse quite well.

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