Friday, January 6, 2012

There's A Reason I Talk To Myself

Well, now, let’s start over. Yup, wrote a whole bunch of words and ended up hearing someone’s voice stating…so, what makes you any different from anyone else. We all struggle with time frames, family/friend demands, and life. And then there’s the voice of those working from home…yeah, yeah, tell me something I don’t know.

Something different.

Ever have someone tell you all your work was good for was as a toss in the trash bag. That it was crap. Senseless. Boring. Childish. And this was from someone who was being helpful.

Ever have someone tell you your work was brilliant, flowing, a painting of magical inspiring words which floated off the page and through their senses?

Yup, same piece; different critique member.

Ever have someone tell you…huh, like it. That’s when I learned not to have hubby read my stuff. Love him, but yeah, not the most helpful. Yup, same piece.

So what happened to that piece? It’s back in the computer folder gathering cyber dust bunnies. Decided to take up challenge and write a romance.

I don’t do romance. I don’t mix well with romance. My first published short story is a romance. Go figure.



Writing is fickle. It’s explosive. It’s dawdling. It’s confusing. It’s boring. It’s time consuming. It’s insanity.

It’s what I do.

Writing is dreaming. It’s play. It’s giving life to whimsy. It’s delving deep into the dark corners and scaring yourself. It’s talking with dragons, vampires, and becoming werewolves.

It’s who I am.

Our ideas are fleeting. They race around our heads and battle to reach our fingers and keyboards before, poof, they’re gone. One second call; one millisecond knock can be enough to lose them. That one teeny idea could have been the result of hours of muddling through words, edits, staring out the window, doodling, talking to characters living only within our minds. But now it’s gone.

The following piece was my very first published non-fiction. I was on the right side of an emotional break. Hubby held the door to this writing world open and told me to walk through. He wasn’t my mom, my dad, my grandmother, or grandfather, he was (is) my life partner. His future was (is) tied to mine and he held the door to my true self. From that moment to now…published author, editor, reviewer, blogger…and I still have days like the day I wrote this, back in 1999.

Credit: Christine I Speakman, May 1999, published in FUTURES Magazine.

***

Today I gave up a dream. I guess there are worse things I could do. Today I said goodbye. Goodbye to part of me, perhaps it was to my soul or just to the truth in me. Today I conform. Today I push and tug my way into society's suit. Today I follow, instead of forging through on my own.

I am lost in this suit. I flounder my way through the day in every direction. Today I don't know who I am. Today I am sad and afraid.

Yesterday I flew. I was free. I was lost but knew where I was. My world was full of colour and laughter. There was fear and the strength to overcome. Yesterday I gave birth to worlds no one had ever known existed. Yesterday I was alive.

Can you see? Do you understand? Do I. There inside me is the truth of who I am. I dream of worlds never seen. I see inside the hearts of others, of you. I see the whys of our actions. I have no answers to give. All I have to give are words. They are my gift to you.

Today I dream. Today I do the best I was meant to do. Today I open my soul up to the world. Today I am true to myself.

***

I am a writer.



Christine Irene Steeves - Writer

23 comments:

Pat Dale said...

Simply beautiful, Chris. For those of us who are writers, you've given voice to the kindred spirit of the Muse we share.
That is not to say we copy one another; no way. You have an insight unlike me or any other writer and your work expresses that. As does mine and the other true authors. Thanks for giving voice to all of us!

ChrisChat said...

Thank you, Pat. Yes, we are unique. For each idea there's a multitude of voices.

Becca Butcher said...

Aw, Cheez Whiz! Did you have to go and make me cry?! That angst you feel when you're standing at that door, just looking through it, terrified of that first step... Yeah, I've been there. Some days I still cling to the door frame, others I pick up my pen and soar.

ChrisChat said...

Thank you, Becca. Keep soaring, I'll make sure to be there beside you

rodow62 said...

Very well put, Chris. You nailed. it

John B. Rosenman said...

Beautiful piece, Chris. We should never conform or put on society's suit. Writing is scary, terrible, senseless, and cruel. But would we rather do anything else?

As you said, writing is who we are and what we do. And you know, it doesn't make any difference whether you are supremely good or supremely bad. If writing is in your soul, you are in essence, a writer.

ChrisChat said...

Thank you, Ro...John. You've nailed it, too, John.

Pat McDermott said...

We understand :-)

ChrisChat said...

Thank you, Pat :)

Ginger Simpson said...

Chris,
Great post, and oh so true. I've had more than one of those poof moments...and I write at the urging of my characters. Funny, growing old has dimmed my memory but not my enthusiasm for writing, however, I do find myself making many more notes than I ever have. Aging is not for the faint of heart or forgetful. :)

S.Durham said...

Oh Chris that choked me up too, I think we all have been on that precipice of 'giving up the dream' because it sometimes seems too daunting to juggle the writing with so many of life's demands. Your reflections are spot on and thank God (or The gods) for husbands and families that are supportive! As to ideas, I remember someone wrote: write all ideas down on paper, because they may only come along once.

Thanks for sharing,

Sara

ChrisChat said...

Thank you, Ginger and Sara. I hate those poof moments, they never happen with bad ideas only the ones you knew were going to be brilliant.

Yes, while writing is an alone profession, without those around us supporting, it would be harder.

Or use a digital recorder...and keep those notebooks in the can, too ;)

Madeleine McLaughlin said...

Great blog. Every writer can understand this and everyone interested in the writing life can peek inside.

Beth Trissel said...

Beautifully written and totally speaks to me. I hear you. In many ways, I am you. Writers get it--words, feelings, thoughts...getting them down before they soar away, like a child netting butterflies...is what we strive to do. What we must do.

ChrisChat said...

Thank you, Madeleine and Beth. Peek...perfect word, we can give glimpses, snippets, but can't really totally explain it.

"...like a child netting butterflies..." Love this, perfect visual

Jacquie Rogers said...

Wonderful post, echoing my feelings and so many of my friends, too. We get it. Thanks, Chris.

ChrisChat said...

Thank you, Jacquie. Nice to know I'm not alone

Jeannie Plenderleith said...

So glad you shared your story. I think a lot of us teeter on that precipice and it's nice to find someone who managed to hang tight.

P.L. Parker said...

Absolutely perfect!

gail roughton branan said...

One advantage to not getting to all the blogs till nighttime is that so many people have already said it for you. I didn't write on paper for a ten year spell when my kids were teenagers. Sports, field trips, teenagers in the house, work, housework. But I never stopped writing in my heart and my mind. And there they all were waiting on me when I was again able to sit at a computer screen and stare. And live again. Both them and me.

ChrisChat said...

Thank you, Jeannie, P.L., and Gail.

Keep hanging with me. "And live again." Yup, know that feeling.

Earl Staggs said...

Excellent piece, Chris. I can relate to everything you said. I especially like this:

"Writing is fickle. It’s explosive. It’s dawdling. It’s confusing. It’s boring. It’s time consuming. It’s insanity. It’s what I do."

You're absolutely right. I know, because it's what I do, too.

ChrisChat said...

Thank you, Earl. Now, I'm blushing.

I was extremely lucky to stumble upon, you, Babs, Ant Jan, and now Lea...and others I know I'll kick myself for not typing all their names.

I still go back to what I learned when I first stumbled in. Thank you.