Since writing my first clips as a volunteer for a non-profit group, I have been able to carve a career out of writing. I've written for local, regional, and nationally distributed publications about a range of topics. I've interviewed local firefighters and police officers, college presidents and politicians, scientists of international renown, as well as parents, animal lovers and boy scouts. I've had two romance novels published and a third is scheduled for release December 16. I'm excited about things I've been able to accomplish in my writing career. It's all been extremely fascinating. And at times terrifying.
The waiting to learn the outcome of all your hard work can drive a creative like me crazy. Self-doubt can be a hard rock in my stomach that points out I don't know what I'm doing. Less than happy reviews and rejections can feel very personal, like a global statement about my ability. But on the other hand, crafting an article or a scene that feels right is joyful. The writing has saved me over and over from despair, because the process of writing is both excruciating and life-saving. Though sometimes it's hard to sit down at my computer to write, I can always count on writing to be there, I just have to get over whatever is in my way.
Writing for me is more than a career. It's a life. As with probably all writers, elements of writing are always with me. Everywhere I am, writing is with me. It shapes how I see the world. It has been an initiation, of sorts, to a way of accessing inspiration and keen awareness. When watching a movie or television show, my notebook is always beside me, ready for me to scribble something interesting that pops into my senses. In public, I'm frequently a step back from what's happening around me as an observer of human interaction.
For me, the writing life presents a fascinating way to experience life. Writing is an expression of me. When I ride my bike, I take in all the sensations of the riding; my physical state, and the scents and sounds and temperatures on my skin. When I see a large spider in my kitchen sink and carry it out on a paper towel, I set it on the threshold of my back door, then, very in the moment, I tell it, "On my porch or in my backyard, but not in my sink." When a small, young cat wanders into my yard, nearly emaciated, I do what I can to feed it and get it into a home. All the emotions, all the ins and outs of my life get catalogued as not only my experience, but as information to draw on when writing.