My own writing, to be clear. It's much easier to let someone else run the show and get me excited about their work, rather than I try to scramble together a few fragment sentences about my project before I loose their interest and the conversation moves back to them anyway.
"Writer" is such a heavy word. It makes you think of someone who is expertly observant, soaking in all the details of the problems of the world so they can formulate some sort of antidote and spit back out on perfectly polished paper for everyone to partake without even realizing they are being cured. I can't even begin to put myself in a category with them.
So I've stayed quiet, for years. I used to call myself a writer, until I realized exactly what that was. So a few friends and family members know it was a hobby I used to peruse, but anyone who's met me in the last 3 years probably has no clue.
It's hard to talk about writing. It's so personal, risky, incomplete. When I start a project I'm so excited I want to shout on the rooftops - but what if all the idea turns out to be was a fleeting thought and it fizzles faster than you can trudge through that dreaded fourth chapter? I've had a few of those. Especially in the few years I wasn't actively writing due to some life changes. For instance, my husband and I moved across the country, (again) I took a job that had me away from home 16 days out of the month, I had a baby. But in quiet times, when ideas would come out of the woodwork, I would jot down a note or two on hotel paper or anything within arm's reach of the baby I was nursing.
But there was one project that would never leave me. It almost faded away (I was really afraid for it) but oddly enough, starting another novel brought it back to the surface. While I still plan to write that new novel, I dove head first back into my current book. And rightly so. It deserved it. We've been through a lot together :)
I am so excited about it. I am buzzing with energy, but I'm also wrenching with fear. The two emotions battling for dominance is keeping me up at night. (and just when I get my daughter to sleep through the night!)
But there is one emotion I refuse to give into, and that is regret. "You don't know until you try. Shoot for themoon. Even if you miss, you'll land among the stars," My mother wrote on my bedroom mirror when I was a teenager. "Create your dream, and live it," I like to remind myself.
A little while ago I had a very vivid, scary dream. I was drowning. I knew I was going to die. At this point, before my daughter was born, I felt I had lived a very full life. I had grown into a decent human being, I had found my soul mate, and I had a strong relationship with my Heavenly Father. What more can anyone really ask for besides that?
There were two things, in the dream, that I felt an over whelming sadness over. I never had children, and I didn't write enough. In that moment, when I was sure I was taking my last breaths, I was overcome with regret for my wasted talents. I needed to be a mother; to nurture children so they would grow up to hold a place of light and good in this world. I needed to be an author; to enjoy my passion and say the things I needed to say that did actually have value after all.
When I thankfully woke up from that dream, I started on those two things right away.