It was only later in my life that discovered that I really loved writing; I can see myself writing for the rest of my life and loving it; and in fact, becoming a better and more fulfilled person for it.
The Reluctant Writer
I haven't always felt like this. In fact, I found writing laborious; almost like pulling teeth. It wasn't that I was bad at it; I did fairly well in it in school. When I received commendation for my literary work at school, it felt like they were talking about somebody else! I didn't identify myself as a writer. I'd rather be doing something else. And I often wondered why people wanted to spend their lives perfecting their literary art and skill writing something that perhaps no one would ever read or care about, and would soon forget.
The Lazy Writer
I have always described myself more as a 'performing artist': singer, actor, pianist, choir conductor, director, teacher, lecturer, coach. Not that these professions need any less energy. Although I worked for a while as a technical writer for a management firm, did press releases for a museum, did scriptwriting for an educational community TV company and other such writing, I always shied away from seriously engaging in what I'd describe as prose writing as I always felt writing was less direct, more elaborate and perhaps even cumbersome. I considered it a second-hand way of expressing oneself. I tended to use writing as an adjunct or outer tool to help me in preparing lectures; hence creating mostly outlines and storyboard. Perhaps, there was an element of laziness in my character to that type of work which drew me away from heeding the call to put pen to paper in a more professional way.
A Secret Calling?
However, in my quiet moments, I've always felt there was a secret writer in me waiting to come out. I have always known that there are books inside me that one day needed to be shared with the world - or perhaps simply needed to be written. For much too long, I did not heed that silent call.
Thankfully, life graciously sends us invitations more than once, and leaves us its calling card at different cycles of one's life. Perhaps, I am now at a place where I'm able and ready to pick up that invitation. Even grateful for the opportunity to change pace and consider a bit more introspectively how I process life, and to reflect upon it from a different and deeper vantage.
I think writing is like being an actor - writing allows you to look at life more closely, to try to get at why something behaves at it does, why use this turn of phrase and not another, what is the true inflection of that sentiment, what's behind what you see on the outside, instead of simply being caught in the throes of how life seems in the outer.
The Accidental Writer
I began writing articles and journals in fits and starts. I must confess that at the beginning, I felt resistance and reluctance, much like a disobedient child refusing to do what it knows it needs to do. I had to work through the initial agonising inertia of putting thought into words and words onto paper (or the computer). Curiously, as I gradually surrendered to this inner calling and started intentionally to write, I began to experience a deeper and almost visceral connection with my soul; I felt more authentic as I truly began to experience and express my inner reality more. I am allowing myself to speak for myself. I am discovering my voice. Or perhaps more accurately, I am getting more acquainted with my voice. I find the experience of writing incredibly exhilarating and fulfilling.
Your Words Mirror Your Soul
Writing can be truly a confronting experience - it requires you to get to know yourself in the most honest way. You have to get to know yourself more deeply and honestly. Through writing, I encounter myself. I need to look at my thoughts as writing exacts honesty, truth and integrity. It often requires that I dive deeply into myself to seek that pearl of an idea, truth, essence and clothe it in that perfect word or phrase that is befitting it. The more honest I am, the more I know myself, the truer my relationship with myself is, the truer would be my words.
Writing always challenges one to discern what is the truth of what one is experiencing; what truly are one's thoughts, understanding and feelings about certain things before one could write about them. I find words are as a two-edged sword cleaving the real from the unreal. Meaning and truth stand out and reveal themselves as words peel back their skin. The process of observation and attention seems to create as well as recreate the reality of what you're writing about.
You cannot separate your words from yourself. The power of the Word is transforming - it has the ability to transform the reader as surely as it transforms the writer.