I went to my writers’ group today and enjoyed listening to the works of three of the members. I wasn’t one of them…why? I have two works of fiction—one completed and one in progress. I have read part of the first work of fiction to the group; they enjoyed it and wanted to hear more. The second piece I have only been working on for a short while and have a good beginning, but have not shared it with anyone and have “put it to bed” for now. I also have a family history in progress. It is a memoir from my great, great aunt, who recorded her life’s story. Someone transcribed the tapes with a manual typewriter and I have committed most of these pages to my hard drive, but have stopped in this effort, as well. Why?
What is it about writing that makes me shy away? I have attempted several artistic endeavors in my life: painting, playing the piano, and writing. Most have received fair praise with the writing receiving the most encouragement, yet still I cower in its shadow. There is a friend in my writers group, who would rather write than speak. She carries a small tape recorder and records random thoughts all for the purpose of placing them in a story. I have another friend in that same group, who gets up every morning and devotes at least an hour to her craft, before she goes to work. If only this writer had that kind of drive.
Instead of writing about, I wake up most mornings thinking about my muse. I wake up thinking about the characters I have created and how they long to be heard. But each day I hush their yearnings and do something, anything but succumb to their quiet, painful cries. I will do things like have lunch with a friend, talk on the phone, clean the house, watch T.V., write a blog—all common and harmless distractions, but when placed against letting the world know the outcome of “Beth Jameson” or “Alex Farthing” is it really all that important and are those things worth the time I give them? In the coming months, I hope to find the answer to that question. I have settled within myself that I will commit this summer to writing. I will put thought to paper, fingers to keys and write and write and write.