My writer’s journey began nearly six years ago when a story emerged, took hold and wouldn’t let go until every word found substance on a page. I reveled in the sheer madness of the joy of creation. It was as if inspiration were white water rapids, and I was flying downstream, barely in control. I screamed for joy as each scene burst forth. It was electric. It was one hell of a ride.
And then I helped bury two beloved family members. A few months later, my sweet mom was diagnosed with cancer and passed away. Too soon. Too quickly. Before I was ready to let her go. 2013 was the year from hell.
Thinking I could resume my life as before, I started again on that story, but the words emerged tortured, twisted, angry or wounded. My heart was broken and so was my creative spirit. I put my writing aside for clearer days.
Quiet set in. The rapids disappeared, leaving me drifting on a tepid pond. No wind, nothing but glassy surface rose before me. No need to glance back. I wasn’t writing. There’d be no wake reflecting movement or forward progression.
And I was okay with that. I let inertia win.
Time passed. I used it to ease those painful memories. I learned to sit quietly, to read and draw inspiration from others, and when a word or two demanded acknowledgement, I’d give it life on a page. Not much. No pressure. A simple scene sketched here. A dabbled paragraph there.
But as time expanded into years, I became impatient waiting for the cycle to pass, for energy to flow and inspiration to return. I began pushing myself, shoving those words out, demanding they coalesce and become something, damn it. Enough of this writer’s block!
Last month, a thought seeped in and wouldn’t let go…
How does one navigate still waters?
I pictured those rapids, that free-for-all, those days when words were my partner, not my enemy, and remembered the feeling of cutting a path down the rapids, letting inspiration direct me onward.
And that’s when the next thought struck…
Navigation needs forward motion.
But how? How do I claw my way through that drifting water? What does it take to reignite that dreamworld of flowing sentences, breathless excitement, characters and stories that sweep me into their realm, blotting out reality? Questions without answers batted through my head – each demanding an answer I couldn’t quite seem to find.
Then I sat, taking deep breaths, calming these churning emotions that anchored, not freed me to start writing again. And as I breathed, the solution came in the form of acknowledgement.
I’m not the same person from five years ago. Gone are the late, burnt dinners, the kids whining I’m hungry, and me, head bent to the page whipping words along before they vanished in the storm of family life.
I’m someone different now, both as a writer, and as a person.
I held those precious few papers, re-reading what I had managed to scribble out during those tortured years, and found them richer, deeper, perhaps more mature even. Imagine that? I’d developed a stronger voice, and just when had that happened?
Perhaps if I could re-wind time, I could’ve acknowledged this was just my journey and saved myself all the heartache. I would know the rapids of life and inspiration might come again, and I’ll get caught up in the excitement of creation.
But if it doesn’t, if inspiration is quiet, like a clear pond, I can navigate to places unknown if I honor my creativity, allowing it to grow, to flourish without judgement or condemnation.
I wish for you all, clear vision.