The writer inside
When I was a child I imagined myself growing up to write novels. In grade 2 my teacher, Mrs. Aspen, had us make book covers with our parents, and then she laminated them and stapled paper into them and gave us a title and off we went, writing our own little books. At the back there were ‘Reader’s Comments’ and other kids in the class could tell you what they liked about your book, and we even had family members join the class so we could each read out our books and talk about them. This was probably one of my favourite activities, ever (more so the writing of the book, rather than the reading of it out loud!) We all had black and white photos taken of us outside in the school courtyard especially to have attached to our books, in the ‘About the Author’ section. Along with having our pictures taken, we were asked a few questions, and when asked what I wanted to be when I grew up, at first I said, ‘A nurse’ but then I quickly changed that to ‘A writer.’
(Interestingly, I recently had someone in a nursing position tell me that I’d ‘be great at the job’ and should look into working in a field where I’m helping people. I can’t see myself as a nurse as there are too many things about the job that would gross me out, and not to mention the long hours both in school and eventually work, which wouldn’t be conducive to being the primary caregiver of my children. BUT my degree in Criminology certainly lends itself toward a ‘helping others’ position, and one day I do hope I can take that to the next level...The current level of ‘helping others’ is being a stay at home mom, where there’s a lot of helping others going on, let me tell you!!)
But being a writer...I can’t help but do a big sigh when I think about how huge of a goal it has been for me, and how I feel it hasn’t actually gone where I want it to. Yet. I’m not closing myself off to the idea of it, but I can’t help but admit I feel a tad bit intimidated, for lack of a better word.
When I was a kid we used to drive to Parksville at least once per year to go to Rathtrevor Beach. Along the way I’d make a point to look out the window as we passed a cabin-y looking house right on the water that had one little room built at the top of it with windows instead of walls. I would always daydream that I would one day live in this house by the water, and the little room on the top would be my writing room. My oasis, where I would go to escape from the world and to write and write and write. As if watching the waves of the ocean would be enough to make the words flow and I would find myself the successful novelist I had always dreamed I’d be. I wouldn’t have to work anywhere else, because I would make enough money writing that it would be my living.
I don’t know if I was destined to have not taken it to that level by now (maybe the dream house was always out of reach, but I mean the Becoming A Writer aspect, even if it was only on the side and not a huge money maker) or if there are circumstances out of my control that have made it a whole lot harder a goal to reach. Or maybe I’m just making up excuses for myself. If one truly wants something, one will not stop until they have got it, right? So I need to work on being an achiever, a go-getter, and I need to go, and I need to get!
I find the internet can be an amazing tool, and I’m not knocking it, because I would imagine there are many writers out there who would argue it’s BECAUSE of the internet that they’ve been successful and are able to reach the audience that they do, AND make money through ads or what have you. (I’m thinking highly read, far-reaching blogs, for example). But I also see it from the flip side - that it can feel as though the internet is making it impossible to make a go of this ‘writing’ thing. There are SO MANY WRITERS out there, ANYONE can be a writer, and when you start searching the internet, it might seem as though everyone and their dog is already doing it. It can be hard to find your truly creative side when you get that sinking feeling that ‘it’s already been done’ and when confidence is low, it’s easy to feel that there are other people out there who would do a far better job of it.
Someone on James’ side of the family (not his mother this time, ha) once said that I would never write anything that anyone else would want to read, but that doesn’t mean I shouldn’t still write. I’m taking it a bit out of context here, it wasn’t meant to sound as harsh and terrible as it does. But it didn’t come across as positive or kind either, and it is something that has stuck with me, despite that it was in the neighbourhood of 10 years ago that it was said to me. It has always bothered me when I think about that, and part of me just felt dejected when I heard that, but another part of me is feeling the urge to prove her wrong! My grade 7 writing teacher told me I was going to be the next Stephen King, and I had high school teachers who were more than encouraging about me being a writer. I’m not saying I’m ever going to make any best sellers lists, but if I don’t write, how can I ever expect to get anywhere?!
This is another area I’m working on this year, and I don’t just mean blog posts. I love writing on my blog, although I’ve wanted to make changes with that for the longest time, too. I need it as an outlet sometimes, but mostly I like to record things so I have a record of what’s been happening, especially in the kids’ lives. But I need to be more focused on writing on the computer ‘for my eyes only’, writing a story, being creative, getting into my own head and unleashing the writer within! She’s there, she’s just been on a way-too-long hiatus. Enough is enough! Another goal for 2015 is to get my creative juices flowing, and start writing the novel that I KNOW I’ve got within me.