At almost 5:30 at night I was out the door and headed for a spectacular night of minds and musings with other writers involved in Ottawa’s experience of NaNoWriMo 2015. I walked into the McArthur Lanes and quickly realised I had undershot the original destination. Louis Pizza; the food smelled great and the service was splendid too.
I crammed in all my photography equipment (left the laptop at home, after all, this was a social event) and prepared for hours of social interaction and intelligent conversation with writers most of whom I never met. What happened was ironic and yet enlightening. I found myself sitting with someone who A) didn’t share their writing with others and B) had no inclination to be published. I was puzzled for a moment, there they were in the midst of us all, others whom also had gathered just to discuss the pleasantry of it all, the writing life I mean. The book deals we dreamt of, the stories of agent agonies, the rewriters, the abandoned scripts the scripts we were behind and some were thousands of words ahead of deadline, writing. Writing as a business, as a lifestyle as life and was it possible that it, the business of writing wasn’t everything there was to the pursuit of the craft after all. What?!?!
Not all writers spend their days sitting at their desks pounding at keyboards looking for the right verb or adjective to put in that sentence. Some, in fact a lot, find they have something to say. They just only want it shared with themselves at the end of the day. They don’t need to worry about grammar, sentence structure, diction, editors who just don’t understand (I’ve heard stories in my time). These writers, these people who write for the sake of writing really exist. They are a rare and therefore are awe-inspiring.
Each writer I think has something they want to share with the world, their message to be heard, acknowledged or at least to have a life of its own. Some writers are never satisfied with their work, others can’t find the right ending, some are tied up in other writing pursuits and fall behind in a project they were once so passionate about but it doesn’t matter to them because they are passionate about whatever they are writing now. Read that last line again. Are you passionate about your writing or is it all just business? I have been all business for the longest time, until last night.
I feel like Peter Pan in Hook and I feel like my metaphorical wings are learning to fly again. Writing as a hobby, a personal pursuit, a pleasure. And I conclude that this writing is both enjoyable as well as it is some peoples’ proof that they have done something tangible with their lives that no one but them knows about so no one can take that accomplishment away. Ever. No matter what anyone says.
Writing, when you have written, anything at all, a love letter on a bathroom mirror (I don’t advise it unless the mirror is your own and you write with lipstick) or write entries in a diary, a 120 page script or a 90 page novella. These pages; page one, page two, page two-hundred; these are just pieces that make the writer a writer. It is the words, the will of creation from nothingness into something that make being a writer a calling and not just something made to be a hobby. Although to be truthful it is a wonderful hobby to have.
I don’t know how many times I have heard someone say, I didn’t know what to do with my life so I started writing. To which I say great for you! It’s never too late to become rich or famous. Although it would be nice to be both.
Although writing anything, as I have often thought, or liked to believe, is a great success that should be celebrated and shared when possible with supportive people. Writing and encouraging new writers has been my life’s calling, second only to motherhood. I have always written with the goal to be published. While I’m published I want to add to my portfolio and to attain success in the writing and film industry which I am involved with now. Finally, I want to be able to say that I have become a published author, while I can only dream of becoming famous. That not only takes commitment to the craft but time away from family,( which I am not prepared to give while my kids are so young).
I was enlightened by this person who helped me to see that it is not to have millions of books in print or their screenplays developed into feature films, although for some that is always the hope. It is to release something from within yourself and put it in tangible form, however indecipherable and this shows that you, whoever you are have done something wonderful by sharing your words with the world, your world.
Writers don’t always write. Sometimes they sit, observe, laugh, cry, drink coffee, decaf, hell, sometimes they just eat pizza. But whatever they are doing it is presumed they are doing it to the utmost of their God-given ability that is within every one of us, I think.
To the writer who told me your writing will never see the light of day; your words may never be in print or on bookshelves or available on the web, but look at the message your keeping your gift to yourself has created for me to share. Your writing created something, inspired someone else and unless you are reading this blog, you will never know what a difference words, your words about writing as a personal endeavor, made to me.
After all, that night I sat with a bunch of great peeps and talked about what all writers talk about, pizza, and the Group of Seven.