Yesterday, I came home from work and there she was sitting on the couch writing. No, not me but my daughter. She sat there very focused as she created her story and drew corresponding pictures. And I remember someone else who did the very same thing with the same kind of fervor.
I have been writing for well over 20 years. I've been obsessed with the written word for a lot longer than though as I am an avid reader and always was. I started writing poetry when I was about 10. When I went to 6th grade I had a teacher who encouraged journal writing. Except I didn't care for writing about the going ons in my life. Really, I had much better ideas. So I wrote stories. My teacher loved them so much. I loved doing it as well. My stories were written as if they were a radio show, I even included some really odd advertisements as well. And this was where it all began all those years ago...
Years that followed, I always some kind of notebook on hand with a pen in the other. I would write on long car trips by flashlight if needed, while on vacation and even visiting the relatives. And everyone around was okay with it. They encouraged it. I wrote because I was driven to write. There were voices in my head (metaphorical voices, I am not really that insane. I am but I ignore the other voices) and stories that had to be told. I wrote all the time.
My mom would tell you about how I jumped out of bed in the middle of the night just to write a poem I was thinking about. My grandmother would tell you about how I was so involved in writing a story, I didn't realize I fallen off the couch and got wedged between the sofa and the coffee table (I am still not sure how that really happened. All I know is she had to rescue me.) I thought like a writer and I still do.
It wasn't utopia in the writing world. I put myself through hell with writing. I know or think I am going to be famous but as of yet I am not. I am rejected constantly but I keep sending stuff out. I even quit writing all together. Or at least I tried quitting, soon I would find myself writing a poem or a story because I have come to realize that I can't turn off the writer mode even if I wanted to. I could try ignoring it or beating it into submission but it always comes back. Always. I have so many excuses now for writing as much as I should. And that is what they are excuses. There are no good excuses for not writing. Probably just trying to avoid it or maybe some other unknown reason.
Maybe I am afraid of being great or taking a chance. I might not be working hard enough. I might not have faith in my work. Although the faith thing is improving. I am just still lost in the body of work I have and where to send it to. See above to taking chances. I think I follow very little rules about the publishing game. I don't read the magazine only because it doesn't help. I do send simultaneous submissions. The only rules I follow are format rules. I just tempt the fates and I hope they bite somewhere.
But what I should be doing right now is actually writing because I do have so much joy in the act.