Last week my “baby” graduated from preschool. I passed another milestone last week as well: I’ve now been writing for five years. Both events got me to thinking.
I always liked writing when I was a child, but I never saw it as a viable career option. As far as I was concerned, people who wrote books were the super-creative, artsy types who had three brilliant ideas before breakfast.
But something happened to me five years ago. I was at a restaurant with my Journey Girls celebrating a friend’s birthday. My son was only a few weeks old, I hadn’t slept in forever, and my husband and I were facing circumstances that just made life HARD. I watched my friend unwrap her gift–a journal, and something in me just…clicked. I used to like to write and journal. Before I grew up, got married, got a “real” job, I used to have stories floating around in my head. But I always believed I wasn’t creative enough to tell them. And I certainly wasn’t a good enough writer to ever get them published.
But five years ago, I’d quit my “real” job to become a stay at home mom (the hardest and most wonderful job I’ve ever had). And while I loved my children, sometimes I felt like I couldn’t see past the diapers and dirty dishes. Writing felt like a way to do something for me when so much of my days (and nights) were devoted to caring for others. Writing became a way to reconnect with the person I wanted to be when I was younger, and the person I hoped I still could be, one day.
So I set a goal for myself, I would write until I finished a rough draft of a middle grade novel. It didn’t matter how bad that draft was. It just had to exist. And you know what I found? It wasn’t as hard as I thought it would be. And another thing, no matter how bad the day had been otherwise, how much the children cried, how hard life seemed, I could always point back to the pages/paragraphs I wrote, and call the day a success. Because I had set a goal and I was working toward it.
I still write as a way to make sense of my days. But after pursuing this for five years, I’ve found that the main reason I write is because I love it, because something within me demands that I write, and because when it comes down to it, I can’t imagine doing anything else.
What about you? What are the passions in your heart? Are you pursuing them? Why or why not?