The most regretful people on earth are those who felt the call to creative work, who felt their own creative power restive and uprising, and gave to it neither power nor time – Mary Oliver
That piece of inspiration sits on my wall as a daily reminder to give the idea of writing power and time.
It’s hard – perhaps because I feel like an imposter some days.
What is a writer? Some people say a writer is someone who writes. Other people say you are a writer when you make a living as a writer. One of those definitions includes a whole whack of people, the other excludes a large swath who spend a great deal of time giving power to their writing.
I have always written – poems and stories. Even before I could write full stories, I had a storybook in my mind which I ‘flipped’ through nightly to tell myself bedtime stories (funny how now I use a meditation app for its sleep stories….).
I have always wanted to give more time and power to creative work. I think, as I go through the process of taking courses, I’ve come to realize that I feared finding out that my writing voice is not good enough, that I am not a ‘good enough’ writer (whatever that means).
That ‘aha’ moment for me was when I received the comments for my final assignment in my last course. I realized I’d been holding my breath, waiting for my instructor’s feedback. The other assignments I had submitted had not felt risky. This piece had felt like a huge leap of faith. I was not writing fiction; I was writing in my own voice, telling my own story.
The courses I am taking have a pass/fail grading system. It’s all about the comments. The instructor was incredibly supportive, while giving criticism. But, she validated the fact that I am now doing the right thing by taking time to give power to my writing.
A consistent theme with the books I’ve been reading about the writing life show that people often doubt, they always wonder, they throw their work away and start again.
That fear, that wondering if I’m getting it right, well, if nothing else has shown me I am pursuing a creative field – apparently, that’s the tell.
To live a creative life, we must lose our fear of being wrong – Joseph Chilton Pearce
photo: a desktop inspiration quote from @hellowriter (the monthly subscription service from Firefly Creative Writing)