I am a writer.
I am entirely confident in making this declaration because not only do I write absolutely every single day, but also I do not feel like I have any choice in this. I carry my phone, and a notebook and pen with me everywhere, because when inspiration strikes, it quite literally sinks it’s fangs into me, like a thought snake.
I have many, many strands of lines, rhymes, questions and contemplations in my phone, some of them audio recordings as I’ve not even had time to type them before I almost lost them. For I am not only a writer, I am also a home-educating mother, and almost every single time the mother part of me must take precedence, my children’s needs more in demand than my creativity. I do not begrudge this, however, as I also find that my children are frequently the source of my creativity, they inspire me with their own thoughts and ideas and we take time to work together on our own projects.
Almost every time an idea will start with a line that just appears out of nowhere. It grows and swells, and entwines itself all around inside me until I am able to give it my full attention. I often imagine ideas like little butterfly or fairy-like creatures, lifting, soaring and landing upon me, leaving little pieces of inspiration in their wake.
If I were to deny myself the time and energy I put into my writing, I know I would be unhappy, I would not feel fulfilled. I know this because for many years I did not make the time to write, or find the motivation to explore my creative side. I cannot even say I didn’t have the time, of course I did, I simply chose to use it for other, less satisfying activities. I used my mental health as an excuse to avoid writing, I used poor physical health to avoid writing. In fact, I used almost anything I could to avoid writing because I was afraid. Afraid that I would not be any good, or I would be wasting my time.
I realise now that nothing that you enjoy or find fulfilling is ever a waste of your time. Your level of skill or talent is irrelevant. Creating for the sake of creating, for the pure enjoyment of making art and pouring a part of yourself into something you create is liberating and invigorating. It allows you to take time to explore your thoughts and experiences in the way you need to.
As a young child, drawing pictures, you did not worry about if what you created was good, in fact good had no marker. You didn’t care about the opinions of your peers, if you had used colour or shape correctly, if the subject was realistic or accurate. You drew purely for enjoyment.
This feeling, this connection, is what I strive to recover when I write now. I will write even if I am the only person ever to read my words. I will write even if I am told I am “no good” or “average” or even receive no feedback at all. I will write with passion, with enthusiasm and with enjoyment. I will connect my inner child with my adult self and explore what makes me happy, however and wherever that takes me.
I am a writer, and what I do is write.