Finding a Voice

I think about writing every day.  I write every day.  I think myself a writer, in the same way that I think myself a reader, gardener, crocheter, house painter, cleaner, and cook.  It’s what I do.  I suppose just like some people think about their dogs every day and are dog lovers, or some people think about music every day and are musicians.  We become what we think about, right?

I don’t post or share even a third of the blogs I write, or start, or work on, and I have never had published any of the short stories that I write month after month, and mostly I think to myself, “well, who wants to read about what I know about?”  But these last couple days I am reading Elizabeth Gilbert’s new book called Big Magic where she explains in her delightfully conversational way that it matters not if anybody, anywhere, ever, wants to read what I write, it just matters that I want to write, and if I feel inspired, then I just do it.  She writes for paragraphs and chapters about finding ways to let yourself “get” inspired and I realized last night, I need no push.  I need no nudge in the direction towards motivation.  I am inspired EVERY. SINGLE. DAY.

Perhaps for some women who get “stuck” in a role of wife and mother, and lose touch with the other roles they once played; roller skater, hula hooper, limbo winner, Jager shot master, boot seller…whatever they once “were,” and then they stopped thinking about THAT, because they were too busy thinking about burp cloths, and play dates, and signing homework pages, and college and financial aid applications…and suddenly 19 years have gone by and she thinks, “Who is this woman, is this who I am??!!”  Maybe those women need to be told it’s okay to think creatively and let themselves be inspired, they might need a little push towards believing it’s okay to think freely and about new things.  Perhaps for some men who get “stuck” in a rut remembering who they used to be; hot rod racer, musician, house flipper, poker winner, snow boarder…all those things they once were, and now they are stuck feeling like they are nothing but the ex-husband, the child support payer, the every other weekend dad, the looking for work middle aged white guy, and he thinks, “What the F**K did I let happen to ME?!  The man I was?!  This is who I am?!  Who is this person?!”   Those men might need a nudge in the direction of ‘thinker-outside-of-the-box’  if they want to see their life turn back to one of positivity and joy.  I think there are many of us who are wondering where did all the magic go…

I write about happiness and sadness and relationships a lot, because that is what I know about, right now, whether I am sad or happy and if it has anything at all to do with any of my relationships.  News Flash, um, yes, it seems to have much to do with my relationships…but I also write about children, and laughter, and how I feel when I look at the sky, and the stunningly beautiful mix of fall foliage in shades like raw sienna, oxide red, mahogany, burnt orange, and cadmium yellow deep, right outside my door.  I read page after page of this new book where she tells us we don’t need permission to be creative, we don’t need schooling to be creative, we just need to let ourselves be pulled by an idea, ANY idea, if we feel inspired by it.  Most importantly it seems, that we are open to new ideas…

This is the third book by Elizabeth Gilbert that I’ve read and I like it and I like her, but really…a whole book about this?  I initially felt a bit bummed out, or better I guess I should write inspired; that she simply chose something to write about which she enjoys thinking about, that is ‘being creative’ and how to go with it, and now it is in the top 50 of sales on Amazon.  I realized as I was reading that perhaps it’s  written for people who keep thinking they have to follow certain rules, specific ways of being, and are a bit timid when it comes to coloring outside of the lines, people who were told they were not artistic or told they lacked creativity…I imagine  a lot of people are like this, but I decided, although admittedly I have about three chapters to go to be finished, I am not one of these people.  I think she is writing for people who think that they lack the ability to think freely and to DO something creative, and she is saying, no, you are human, therefore you ARE creative, and you don’t need anybody to tell you it’s okay to be free with your own creativity…at least this is the essence of what I’ve read, or what I’ve gotten from it.

I really do allow myself to be pulled by whatever magical feeling fills me, and I write my heart out when it happens.  Sometimes I do it with vodka and tears streaming down my face.  Sometimes I do it with coffee and my fingers move as fast on the keyboard as the words come flying from my head.  Sometimes I do it with my eyes and my ears, and I just absorb the thoughts that swirl around my brain when I watch my grandchildren play in their incredibly imaginative and beautiful way, and listen to them pretend, pretend, pretend…So I am going to continue my journey pretending to be a writer, and finding a new voice every day with everything that stimulates my brain and touches my soul.  I suspect if we become what we think about, then I shall, at some point “become” a writer, and in the space between now and then, I’m okay with simply finding my own voice, even if nobody ever hears it…

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One thought on “Finding a Voice

  1. Donna Delany says:

    Love this! I finally had the time to read this. I had been saving it. I for one am so grateful for your writing. It is a special time in my day, when I get to enjoy your thoughts and lovely words

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