A friend asked me this morning why I hadn’t written any posts for a while – and how is she supposed to know how I’m going if I don’t write?
Well, if thinking occasionally about writing a blog resulted in a blog being written, I would have had five or six written by now… :)
Friends, forgive me for my absence, both from reading your blogs and writing my own (the two go hand in hand I find). To make it up to you, I’ll tell you a story which might explain where I’ve been.
Once upon a time there was a little girl, who at 4 decided she was ready to go to school. She was small and shy, and probably a little bit young to go to school, but she was set on one thing, and one thing only. She wanted to learn how to read. In her mind, to do that, she had to go to school.
So, her mother, wanting to do the right thing, sent her off to school. Where she spent the next 2 months crying every day because it was so big and scary and so different from preschool where she knew everyone and had been so happy. This little girl got used to this big school (sort of) and went about the important business of learning to read, which she knew how to do very competently by the time she finished kindergarten.
Luckily for this little girl, her mother moved to the country and sent her to a tiny country school with 50 children, along with her brother who was old enough to go to school as well. As this little girl grew up, she devoured books, one after the other. Enid Blyton, Anne of Green Gables, Little Women, Heidi, The Secret Garden and whatever else she could get her hands on. She wrote too – long, complicated stories, poetry, diary entries, letters to her grandmother; whatever she could think of. She thought she might like to write books one day.
To this practical Taurean girl, writing novels seemed a little self-indulgent, so at various times she transmuted this desire into more practical career paths – a librarian, a book shop owner and later, a journalist. She told herself that she wasn’t very imaginative and she didn’t really have any stories to tell anyway, so she grew up and did other things. Environmental science (yuk, hated that), massage therapist (ok, but not as a job), homeopath/nutritionist (stopped studying when the dread of of actually doing it for real overpowered the interest she had in studying it), shop owner (liked working in health food shops, but no good at handling money), community builder/market manager (liked this very much but finds dealing with people exhausting). Pause.
Her family becomes a one car family; her husband takes the car to work 5 days a week. She spends a year at home with her freedom drastically curtailed. She is not used to staying at home and is very frustrated at first. She starts blogging and studying media and communications. All of this writing is a revelation – she loves it. This not-so-little girl (she has two little children of her own by now, a house in the country and a 13 year relationship) is starting to think she might be on the right track.
Three weeks ago a friend invites her to her very first writer’s group where the homework was to write 500 words on ‘the birthday’. It just so happened that this not-so-little girl had been keeping a story in her mind for about 4 years called ‘the birthday’. It seemed like a sign, so she wrote it down, and took it to the meeting. When she was writing it, she remembered how she always wanted to write fiction – and how freeing it was to write compared to the constraints of blogging and media work. She could write anything she wanted!
Her piece was well received in the group, even though she was so nervous she had to get her friend to read it out to the group for her. On her way home, she thought to herself again that maybe she did have a book in her. Oh yeah? said her mind. You don’t have the discipline to write a whole book. That is a very big undertaking. Your family won’t support you, you won’t earn any money from it – and don’t you think writing a novel that might not even get published is a bit self-indulgent? Other people out there are living real lives of suffering, and here you are…blah, blah, blah.
Oh right, said the not-so-little girl. I know you. That is complete and utter bullshit. The reason I know it’s bullshit is because I have just done 40 days of yoga, and you said exactly the same shit to me when I wanted to have a daily yoga practice. I have a daily yoga practice now, and you were wrong about that, and I bet you are wrong about this as well. To prove it, I am going to to do 40 Days of Writing.
This not-so-little girl is on day 15 of writing today. Every morning she gets up early and writes for an hour. She has imagination and she has stories to tell. She has discipline, and her family is supportive. What’s more, she is so happy writing she gets teary just thinking about how good her life is, that she has her cottage/retreat to write in, the time, space and inspiration to write with and a husband that goes out to work to look after them all.
People, that’s the end of my story. It’s just the beginning too, and it’s a fragile beginning. I don’t really want to talk about what I am writing; I’m still in a bit of shock that I actually am writing. So shhhhh, don’t tell anyone yet.
I am mother, sister, blood-sister and wife,
Drummer, web-weaver, passionate for life;
Dancer with fairy dust, sun, sea and snow,
Creatrix, embracer, I go with the flow;
Tiger, butterfly, complex and free,
I am glorious, juicy, and free to be me;
Grace, gratitude and love is my creed,
I warmly give and receive what I need;
Explorer, authenticator, drifter on dreams,
Truths are unleashed, words flow in streams;
Insightful, intuitive and naturally wise,
Good fortune is easy to materialize;
Spinner of stories in the celestial skies,
Connected to earth, reaching Heaven-wise.
Shimmer, sparkle, giggle and shine,
Awaken, be bold, and behold, my divine!
~ Anita Revel