I . . . Writer!
Contemporary Writer Reveals Her Soul
My sanctuary ~ a darkened room, a faux leather chair, and a small laptop stand, lime green in color. Surrounding me, a virtual room filled with the cacophony of crickets, birds twittering, and the light whirring of dragonfly wings. It is a room where many a reader comes, yet never set foot inside.
For those who come by my sanctuary, my small slice of the world, here is where I bare my soul, put down my thoughts on virtual paper for your scrutiny, none the less. It is what I know, this imparting of words. You reader, are welcome to stop in; read, stay a while. Yes, you are welcome.
My writing is a public record of my life, of ideas gleaned from it via my actions, my thoughts, and anything else. Still and all, my dilemma surfaces. Writing in and of itself is difficult, a challenge which extends itself to me. It is a love/hate relationship, one I want to do, can't do without, yet, one also that kicks me in the Proverbial tush. Writing is my lifeline. I've been doing it forever. Words on paper are what allow me to breathe, to focus my mind on something and discern its importance or its frivolity.
The struggle comes when I ponder what to write about.
Write about life, my Creative Writing teacher would say to us in college.
Yet, she had a point.
My life I saw I could have and the life my family wanted clashed. I was to be a t.v. news reporter. Now really, can you see me on someone's network, locs hanging, swinging, telling the world's daily vibe? Not!
Expectations are a bitch and they got to be too much. I literally ran away from my family for a time just to put their expectations on the burner.
Ran away to Indianapolis, IN where I got lost, failed at love, and learned that Mary Jane wasn't the favorite candy I used to love as a kid. (But like Clinton, I didn't inhale!)
When I was ready to be found, I returned to the world. Don't know if I was rejuvinated, but I definitely let my family know by my act that I did not want to be put into a box and sat on a shelf ~ I didn't want to be told what I was gonna do with my life when life's possibilities were endless. Sh%@, I was only 18, maybe 20.
And so I defined myself at that point. I placed the label 'Writer' on my breast, and I have been that ever since. (Truly I was a writer way before, however there is always a defining moment when you realize who you are, what you are about, and what you will do for your lifetime.)
When I write anything I know forthwith there is a fear I hold. I think any writer holds that fear ~ the fear that others will find him/her unbelievable.
As I open the virtual notebook to begin a writing session, I am plagued with these questions: 'What do I write about?' 'Who will read what I write?' 'How do I write to make an impact on others?' 'Where do I find ideas to write anything of interest?'
Ideas come from every direction. Why just this week the conversation between friends and myself consisted of abortion, saving Haiti, motherhood, mama's boys, and doing time in prison. I won't elaborate.
Ideas are rampant though.
I describe myself as the poet, writer, essayist ' . . . who feels without words, she cannot exist, cannot even breathe.'
Writing is why I won the James S. Copely Journalism scholarship.
Writing is why I knew what to say to an emotionally distressed woman whose husband deployed to the Gulf War. She'd locked herself in the bathroom of the home they shared; her children lay asleep in their rooms, unaware. No one seemed able to reach her until she heard my voice.
Writing allows me to organize my thoughts and stand up against injustice. I write what I see and the world reads my words, therefore better able to make a decision about the matter. Thus, my writing allows the reader's eyes to see.
Writing, as sure as life is uncertain, will take me to my grave.
But right now, I am alive and I will write about what comes to mind.
By writing, I become the reader's soothe-sayer, for she/he doesn't have time to stop and drink his/her proverbial coffee. He/she is too busy, moving through life in an asteroidal blip. So caught up in the world that defines them, they need my words to make sense of it all. They are business men and women, office managers, bus drivers, firemen and policemen, volunteers, and sometimes they are simply observers. They sit and watch and wait for the writer to trip up, to fall on his/her face.
Yes, you reader are relentless for information, unforgiving to the writer. You will devour what is written by us, yet you will tear it apart, rip it into shreds, and then spit us out to dry in all our virtual nakedness.
We are vulnerable, clinging to whether you like us, or whether you will tell others to read us. We can't exist except for your perusal of our written words.
To you, my reader, I am vunlerable.
I have learned that I am fearful of you for what you need from me.
However, I am a writer.
I continue in the word game, struggle though it may be.