Today I finished reading another book. Or rather, I started and finished another book. Six hours of sitting at a desk waiting for the few phone calls and fewer visitors to the museum calls for reading material. This time it was Wild Mind by Natalie Goldberg. Personally, I liked Writing Down the Bones better, but Wild Mind had some golden nuggets of wisdom as well. For instance
I’ve never met a writer who wanted to be anything else. They might stop for a few months, but those who have bitten down on the true root do not abandon it
This, to me, was probably the most affirming thing I have ever read when it comes to writing and being a writer. Because if I really face the truth, writing is my life. Ever since I was a kid, there was nothing I wanted more than to be a writer. Yes, I flitted to volcanology for a while, or culinary arts, or park ranger, but all the time I came back to writing. What was it that kept driving me away from writing, looking for something else? Doubt. It’s what Goldberg calls the “monkey mind,” the part of us that focuses on the obstacles (I’ll have to pay bills, be rejected by publishers, commit). I didn’t know any writers, and the ones I read as an elementary-aged child did not speak wonders to me. It wasn’t until (I’ve said it before) I read Tamora Pierce’s Lioness Quartet that I found an author or genre that truly spoke to me and encouraged my writing. Even then, I held back because of the difficulty of the task. More than once I put away all of my writing materials and vowed never to write again.
Yet I kept coming back to it. Of course I did. I am a writer, and that is what drives me onward.
Writing is a key part of my life. All I want to be (career wise) is a writer. Yes, I work at a museum now and that does not cause me strife the way my previous job sometimes did. Yes, I expect that I will have to work full-time because writing really isn’t going to pay the bills. But writing will be there, in the chunks and snippets of time I have, writing is what will carry me.
I am a writer.