One of my biggest hangups about writing (and creativity, really) is that if I were really meant to be doing it, I would have been doing it all along. And if you ask me, then my real true answer would be that I haven't, so maybe I shouldn't be.
A reader, yes. That I've been doing since a very precocious young age and even if I don't make enough time for it, I've definitely kept that up. Plus that doesn’t take any work at all.
And, I mean, sure, I was expressing myself through homemade greeting cards all throughout elementary school. But that was kid stuff. And I stopped.
And, of course, I wrote in diaries in journals through middle school and high school. But that was self absorbed and kid stuff. And that's not real writing. Even if I didn't stop.
And, yeah, I wrote poetry and stories from when I could first string words together. But they weren't anything. They don't make me a writer.
I opened a journal today while clearing out junk from my office. I wrote these entries when I was in high school (fourteen and two months, I felt it important to note), the summer between 9th and 10th grade.
Please note, I remain correct. Extremely self-absorbed (I described myself as fourteen and two months....please remind me how self absorbed I was when my daughter gets there).
But one page, in one summer, I found a note I made to myself. A whole page between looking for a boyfriend and whether or not my then best friend was really my best friend and body issues, there it was.
"I have a story idea...."
And I described a man I saw in a small beach town in Maine. I saw into his eyes (and now, I still remember those eyes, that town) and saw a story that wanted to be written. That I wanted to write it.
This week, I've been hit in the heart with all kinds of reminders that what you love is there if you want it. And no one is going to give you permission. This, however, was the biggest reminder of all.
It has been there all along. Whether I stopped or started or did anything with it. It has been there. It is still there.
I'd share that story idea now, but it's percolating for me. I just might write that story.