Writing is a gift to the writer first.
Let me explain.
When I was a kid and before I had developed enough skill to write stories on paper I loved to tell them orally. I made them up in my head as I went along. I shared the stories with anyone close enough to hear them. Many times the realistic tale freaked people out, because they thought it was true. I got myself a reputation then, and not a very nice one as you might imagine.
I remember from childhood one particular story telling episode. It happened over 30 years ago and is still discussed at family Christmas parties.
I was at my cousin’s house playing in the basement. She had a really cool chalk board. It was great for role playing teacher and drawing pictures. One day I picked up a piece of chalk, told my cousin to take a seat and started drawing out a map of her house. I then drew the road that led from her house to mine, a couple blocks away. I wrote the title above the map “our escape plan”. The map finished, the plans made we sat down to watch our favorite kids shows. A while later my mother picked me up and we went home. I showered and snuggled into bed at the usual time.
Around midnight my Aunt called my Mother.. My cousin was packed and sitting on the edge of her bed waiting for me to come and get her. Mother woke me and \I picked up the phone. I told her it was just a game and I wasn’t really coming to get her. The next day, I got in big trouble for that little tale.
Anyway my cousin and I grew up and I went away to begin my life as an adult. I snagged a decent office job, met and married my husband and we had two lovely daughters. The writing was not forgotten only buried under a heap of responsibilities.
Like most there were a few rough patches to deal with along the way. In quick succession I was hit with two major life altering situations. First I was made redundant at work and second my mother passed away. This sent me into a dark period of life.
Depression took over and I could do little other than sit on the couch and stare at nothing in particular while unable to grasp a clear thought. Sometime within that year I decided to try writing again. I knew from past experience it is a great form of therapy and what did I have left to lose? Maybe if nothing else, I thought, it can help me find a little footing again.
I sat at the keyboard day after day looking at the blank page writing crazy stuff and feeling like yet another failure was upon me. Then I picked up a random self help book in my office. One I hadn’t looked at for years. I knew that if I hoped to be a decent writer I had to get myself to a place where I was clear mind and effective in my life.
With the support of my family alongside the passion for writing I was able to keep going. Not just keep going but to actually use the desire and passion to write to help pull myself from the darkness and develop further as a responsible and effective human being.
The gift of a love for writing made all the difference. My family was great but they didn’t understand me during that dark phase. Who can blame them, I was incomprehensible. Getting myself centered again and back on target because I really wanted to learn the writing craft along with the stubborn persistence I had to carry on is the thing that pulled me out of my self induced prison.
So you see when you focus on something good, positive, something you love it is a gift. For me it is writing that is the gift that saved me. How did it help save me? It drove me to continue with self development and renewed my love of reading and writing. I am so thankful for the desire to be a writer and even happier to be writing these words today.
How has your passion and desire for writing improved your life?