…the writer, the journey…

The writer…

I don’t know about my friend, Percy Bysshe Shelley up there, but I’ve always known that this Shelley would be a writer. Still, I remember the day when I was eleven years old and realized that not everyone grows up to be what they want to be. It was a devastating realization which has haunted me ever since. I’ve fought it, going on to get my BA and then MA in Creative Writing; and I’ve succumbed to it, spending the intervening ten years between degrees working in health care and barely writing a word. Now, in my late thirties, I have a house, debt, and high stress job; but I also have a finished novel, a growing network of writers & contacts, and more ideas than ever. The time has come to not only believe that I will, indeed, grow up to be a writer…I must be one!

Shoes

The journey…

“They” say that writers write. I absolutely agree. Thanks to my MA Program, I’m back at it. But writers also do other things: read, query, network, workshop, retreat, daydream, etc. All these things require time, and for most writers, who aren’t James Patterson, Stephen King, J.K. Rowling, [insert name of obscenely successful writer we all secretly envy], they must do all these things while living a busy, almost disparate lifestyle. For example, I say I’m a writer, but I spend 40-50 hours a week at a hospital, following protocols and regulations, being stressed and very uncreative. I’m grateful for this job; it fulfills important needs, makes wonderful things possible, and even helps people. However, when I wake up in the morning, I often ask myself, “How do I go to a job that has nothing to do with what I really want to be doing—namely, writing? How do I convince the artistic child inside me that these precious days of life are not being squandered, that we really can make dream and reality meld?” For me, the answer cannot just be coming home from the “day job,” drinking a glass of champagne, and putting in an hour of writing. This will remain essential, but I need more to think of myself as a writer.

This blog will be a journey to discover what that “more” is…for 365 days. Every day I will commit to doing one thing, anything, that makes me feel like a writer’s life is not just a distant dream, but part of my reality, here and now. And then, I’ll document this thing. Some days it will simply be revamping my writing space, dusting off my “writerly” briefcase, or going for a walk to think through an idea. Other days it will be submitting a query letter to an agent, going to a public reading, or hosting a writers’ group. And many days it may just be playing—the important act of keeping the creative well filled…with evenings at the piano, trips to thrift shops, hours practicing languages I will never use. But regardless of what it is, I will do it and note it here.

Now, this is a scary commitment for me. Three hundred sixty-five days of trying to do anything is an overwhelming prospect, especially when it will be witnessed, and especially when it involves the thing I love and fear most. But, in the words of Winston Churchill, my go-to guy in scary situations, “Never give up on something that you can’t go a day without thinking about.” And there you have it.

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23 thoughts on “…the writer, the journey…”

  1. Nicolle Harrity said:

    Can’t wait to watch your journey unfold, Shelley!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. We’ll be right here beside You…we know you’ll succeed.. love auntie

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I’m your follower, Shelley! ❤

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Looking forward to this journey with you Shelley!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Enjoying already…..

    Liked by 1 person

  6. 365 days of Shelley 🙂 Wonderful!

    Liked by 1 person

  7. I didn’t see mummie on the list!!!

    Like

  8. Thanks for the ‘like’ on Signe and Quote. It is appreciated. I simply love your about page and will read more… and the quote from Churchill, a great ending that honors your desire in a few words.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. The Happy Typewriter said:

    Heya!

    Just letting you know I nominated you for the Liebster Blog Award. Woohoo!!!

    https://thehappytypewriter.wordpress.com/2015/03/03/liebster-award/

    Like

  10. Passion…summed up from inside a heart beating madly to realize its ultimate desire. Loved this.

    Like

  11. Wow!

    Like

  12. I LOVE this! Thank you for the courage to share your journey. I knew as a little girl that I had more words than could be spoken. Today I find myself with a husband, four kids, a growing business, and little time to write. But I carve out moments. And they are beautiful, energizing, hope-filled moments. God bless you, and keep at it!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you so much, Rita, for your kind words. You sound like a brave word warrior as well! Sending you all the best for you and your writing in what sounds like a very full & blessed life!

      Like

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