The Freedom and Restrictions of Writing
Venturing into the world of writing, I'm learning more every day. When I first imagined myself as a writer, I was young and inexperienced in life. I chose a path that would bring me more security, but it also brought discontent. Almost twenty years later, I have finally come full circle to follow my dream, a more experienced person, covered with the scars of life's wounds. Each scar contributes to who I am and what type of writer I will be.
My literary adventure began earlier this year, believing that gift and desire were the only tools needed to be successful in my new endeavor. Writing is freedom, isn't it? The imagination can soar into the clouds, crawl through dark caverns, or roll gleefully down a hill covered with spring grass and wildflowers. There is no end to where the mind of a great writer can take a reader. I can create new worlds of which no other living being has dreamed, capture my reader in the grasp of fantasies that take them out of their dreary existence and into a world of expectation. That's the freedom that draws me to my computer each day.
But there's a flip side to every coin. I hate cliche's, but sometimes there's no better way of getting a point across. Maybe I'll even recreate an old cliche'--there's a dark cloud inside every silver lining. That dark cloud is the stack of books sitting in my To Be Read pile. Not the fiction pile. The How To pile. All those books that other authors have told me I must read if I ever hope to publish a syllable. I'm back in school. Writing 101. Where gift and desire are pushed aside to make way for technical elements of the craft. I thought I'd figured out how to use a comma--back in grammar school. And I've joined an online writer's group and a critique group. To put it bluntly, I've pasted a target on my torso and screamed, "Rip apart my soul!" As the darts hit center, I flinch in pain. I've poured my creative heart into my work and someone has just told me it needs to be rewritten. So I slip into my dark corner and pout, clasping my beloved prose to my chest, willing to protect it with my life.
I've learned that life as a writer is like any other profession. We imagine the joys and downplay the pain. But the pain will come eventually. And when it comes, I'll embrace it. As I reflect on the scars of my life, I see how they have molded me into a person I couldn't have imagined becoming. As a writer, I choose to take the darts, feel the pain, then heal and become stronger. A better writer. Because those throwing the darts have been where I am. They know what it takes to forge ahead down my chosen path.
So today I am a writer. Tomorrow I will be a better writer. Maybe someday I will be a great writer. My imagination will traverse the corridors of unknown adventures, propelling me forward in search of those darts that will bring pain. And each time I heal, I am one step closer to realizing my dream.