Hello, dear readers, and welcome! A happy Wednesday to you all!
I have been posting "Writer's Wednesday Inspiration" on my sister blog at CrimsonSterling.com, but today I wanted to add this post here, as well, because I think it's very important for writers to see. It certainly helped me!
Please enjoy. :)
This week for Writer's Inspiration, I wanted to talk about something I read recently, and how it inspired me. I've been reading Madeleine L'Engle, one of my favorite author's, book "A Circle of Quiet", which is taken from a journal of hers, and it is very inspiring.
The particular quote I want to share with you is this:
"In the journal I recorded this moment of decision, for that's what it was. I had to write. I had no choice in the matter. It was not up me to say I would stop, because I could not. It didn't matter how small or inadequate my talent. If I never had another book published, and it was very clear to me that this was a real possibility, I still had to go on writing.
I'm glad I made this decision in the moment of failure. It's easy to say you're a writer when things are going well. When the decision is made in the abyss, then it is quite clear that it is not one's own decision at all.
In the moment of failure I knew that the idea of Madeleine, who head to write in order to be, was not image."
This quote felt so entirely large, so entirely important, that I simply had to share it.
What type of writer are you? In "A Circle of Quiet", Mrs. L'Engle talks of a time when she was writing, taking away from her family, and more "important" things, but it was bringing in no income. On her 40th birthday she received a rejection letter for one of her books, and decided that this must be a sign: it was time to stop dreaming, and stop writing.
The passage above is how she reacted to the idea of quitting -- quitting writing, quitting creating, and, she realized, quitting who she was.
What type of writer are you? Are you someone who writes because you like the title of author, the "image", because you enjoy stories as a hobby or pastime, or because you must write in order to be?
In my difficult times, particularly last year, when nothing as going my way, I entertained the idea of giving up writing, but it never stuck for long. The idea itself, not to mention the act of not writing, felt like ripping my very soul out. That is when I discovered that I didn't write simply to write, for profit or for fun, but because I had to, and that was very freeing.
I have to 'write to be'. I couldn't have said it better myself!
What type of writer are you? I don't think there's anything wrong with being one, or a number of, the types of writer above. If you are a writer who likes the term author, who writes for revenue, recognition, then that is alright; there is nothing wrong with making a living, so long as you produce good work. If you simply like writing as a hobby, and don't want anything else out of it, that is alright, too. And if you're like me, the writer who cannot stop writing, because it would mean denying everything that you are, that it as it should be for you.
I believe that knowing what type of writer you are is freeing. I'm not talking about labels so much, because labels are like boxes to stuff ourselves into, and that is not good creatively, but about reasoning. It's good to know why we do things, because that makes us do them better.
Who writes better? Who is a "real" writer and not? I cannot define that, because I don't really think it matters, not in the large scope. I look at writing differently than another writer, perhaps, because of the reasoning behind why I write, but that doesn't mean my way is "right" or "wrong". Perhaps the writer who writes to be has a deeper understanding of words, or of story, but when it comes down to it, this really only matters to them, because they are not writing to please anybody, not even really themselves.
I am a writer who wants recognition for my work, and revenue, and that is good -- but at my core, I am a writer who writes because I have to; I, like Madeleine, have no choice. I cannot stop, it simply isn't in me. I must go on, even if no one reads, because that is who I am at my core. Realizing that, I feel free of the obligation to write for some other purpose, to pretend that I write because I want to publish, because it's fun, because it's creative; I feel all of those things besides, but that isn't the reason.
If I focus on my reason -- writing to be -- I can write more freely, enjoy myself more.
What type of writer are you, and how does that push you forward?