I decided that every so often I will write about my process: why I do it –how I do it –and what keeps me sane. Like this blog and the belief that I can use punctuation in a way that makes sense but not necessarily the way that is correct.
I spent most of this year intensely writing. Then I started another rewrite only this time it is a nuts and bolts thing–what part goes where and why and tightening up transitions. Organizing my writing which occassionally ends with my hair askew and me wondering if a certain piece is in the book already and searching through pages to make sure. I don’t want to repeat myself. I don’t want to repeat myself! Oh.
As a kid I wrote. If you asked me what I wanted to be when I grew up I wouldn’t have said a writer. Writing kept me sane. It was something I did like breathing. I wanted, in turn, to be an Olympic figure skater(thanks Peggy Fleming for your inspiration), a detective(thanks Trixie Belden, Nancy Drew, The Dana Girls, Sherlock, And all the rest) and then a teacher, a history teacher who taught through the art, literature and music and stories of a time to make it enteresting and exciting( thanks Sister Margaret, Ham Smith, Kathryn Price and David Coombs). Then an actress–that was the real one–the thing I put my time into for years, found myself and my husband in acting.
The other thing I did as a matter of course was read. And then there was art–crafting for me. I could never draw. We have two very talented artists in our kids and it comes from their father’s side absolutely. My drawings never moved beyond a 4 year old ability. I didn’t color in the lines until my 40’s when it just started happening while drawing and coloring with my kids and it surprised the heck out of me. Weird. I express my artistic side in cooking, makeup, kintting and jewelry making. These four things are wonderful in that in a short amount of time there is satisfaction in a job finished and even more if the job is well done.
I decided to make jewelry for my friends and family for Christmas this year. I have all these supplies and it seemed like a way to spend my evenings where I was being productive and saving money and making something pretty for my mom, aunt, etc. It is so satisfying to design something and see it finished in an hour or so.
When I get up from my desk because my negative self talk is beginning I walk to the kitchen–right behind me about two steps and either make dinner or sit at the table and make a piece of jewelry. I don’t let that negative self talk have a minute of my time. I try to stop it and if i really start to doubt the value in what I am doing I simply move on–by then I have usually spent an hour or more at it. I don’t dwell and I do things that satisfy me and my sense of esthetic.
Knitting and jewelry making started because I wanted to do it, then morphed because there were things I wanted that I wanted to make instead of spending the money to buy them.
They will always be hobbies–I think. I won’t really say never. But when I look at what feeds me, what really fills my soul, what I cannot live without doing it is writing. Back when I was acting someone said, “If you can do anything else, do it.” I could –so I did. Writing will always be a part of me. It will always be the way I work out what is going on inside me and if it helps someone that is fantastic. Writing it helps me.
Dad always wrote. He wrote what he loved to read. He wrote because that was who he was. I guess I am a writer. If you ask me what I want to be when I grow up…I will say a writer. I want to tell stories. I want to help heal through fiction or through my own story. Yesterday at one of those moments before I leaped up from my desk–needing to start dinner –I got an email, a friend who’s friend needed someone to talk to about the whole BC thing. I said yes instantly–Right there I needed a sign and I got one. I hadn’t even asked yet, “Why am I doing this? But the question was threatening. And there was the answer, “Can you help?” Of course.