Wednesday, June 25, 2008

The Write to Choose?

Does one choose to become a writer?

I’m thinking it is inbred in our being, becoming a heat seeking missile erupting feverishly if we never call upon it into existence.

Why become a writer?

Is that the write question we need to be asking? What called you to become a writer?
Again this is assuming that people who have never written, never felt the churning inside, just educate themselves because ‘becoming’ a writer looks like fun?

I don’t think so.

I think that no matter what career you chose in life, whatever path you were headed down as a profession, if you were meant to be a writer, it surfaces like a volcano. The volcano was standing right there all along, you saw it but you never REALLY bothered with it because it never bothered you. Volcano is the perfect metaphor because as a writer you feel it simmering. You’re going through life…a cashier, a nurse, an accountant, but then you feel the simmering brewing like a fresh pot of coffee.

It begins with a low bubbling, you think to yourself, "I’d like to write for my colleagues." Or "The pastor has asked ME to write in the newsletter!"
Whatever the case may be, the volcano erupts in a frenzy and you find yourself pursuing the art of writing.

I myself have always written cards, since I was a kid. I never gave much thought to ‘becoming a writer.’ I had teachers tell me how nice my work was, I had family that loved my poems but as a ‘chosen’ field. Nah, not for me. So I went aimlessly in search of something that maybe I COULD do! I helped the elderly, took on menial jobs (slave labor), cleaned houses, attended beautician school (for a short lived term), still I wandered and wondered what is it, what is this CHURNING inside!

Then I dug into the anthill. "What is YOUR job?" I asked the ants as they scurried out of the mountain of sand. They didn’t respond (Thank God) but they did show me something.
They climbed the mountain of sand, all in a row they marched like little soldiers, never cutting in front of the other, just content to be going all in the same direction. I watched as their little world HAD direction. (Aha, I need direction!) They carried (I should say lugged) food into the anthill. (Aha, I need nourishment!) They came marching down the anthill as if trudging to war. War with the enemy (seasons.) But it wasn’t war at all that kept them moving it was determination! (Aha, I need determination)

So late in the seasons of my life, something called out. (no it wasn’t the ants) The churning volcano inside erupted into a cataclysmic frenzy and smacked me so hard in the face it was not to be ignored.

So here I am. Not CHOOSING to be a writer. I don’t seek fame and fortune. I don’t seek the all empowering Great American Novel. Writing chose me! Something more powerful than the ants, more powerful than anything science can explain, more powerful than any deliciously well-prepared thought out meal with all the RIGHT ingredients.

The mountainous volcano has a natural flow (like the ants) Did you ever watch a volcano erupt? It erupts in colorful molten lava, (like writing erupts in the soul?) Then the hot lava begins its way down the path of creation (just like the writer creates) making fissures along the way. (A writer opens many worlds in these fissures.) As the lava flows it weaves a sinuous impression on the earth. (Just like the writer leaves an impression.)

Soooooooo my longwinded point being… Once I knew I needed direction, I aimed myself toward the moon. (A GOAL) I fed myself all the information I needed to get me going down the right road. (Nourished mySELF) Then I bathed in determination! Everything has fallen into place all on its own. Always has and always will.

Just remember…"Everything happens for a reason. For every season of your life may your branch extend into the groping sunshine and cast an effervescent light upon you to give you clarity. Then maybe you can BLOOM!" ~~ Joni's quote! ;-)

1 comment:

June said...

Beautifully said, Joni!

We all have our writing "coming out" stories.

I've always loved to write. In fact I love the creative process no matter what: writing music for the piano, choreographing dances, framing the "perfect" mood for a photo, creating a new crochet design, drawing and painting, etc.

But....but my first love is writing. There's something about the creative process that I love when I read a story that I've written from a reader perspective. I love the flow that happens when I'm "on."

Creating is like giving birth--it's like experiencing new life as a creator.

Take care,