Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Road Trip Wednesday

Road Trip Wednesday is a "Blog Carnival," where YA Highway's contributors post a weekly writing- or reading-related question and answer it on our own blogs. You can hop from destination to destination and get everybody's unique take on the topic.

This week's topic:

When/why did you start writing?

In some ways I've have a rocky path to writing, in other ways I have been doing it all my life. I distinctly remember a childhood story I wrote about a pickle with super-powers that my mom saved (I really, really loved pickles), and I remember the first time a college professor read my essay out loud to the class. Still, I didn't think I "could write". It's just one example of the rules we make for ourselves, the restrictions we put on ourselves.

I have an acquaintance who runs marathons on a monthly basis and has begun training as a tri-athlete. At a Christmas party a few years ago we were talking about my decision to go with natural childbirth (long story, including the fact that this is how it is done in the Netherlands, where I had both my boys). Anyway, this friend, who accomplishes AMAZING physical feats ALL THE TIME said to me "Oh my God, I could NEVER handle natural childbirth." All the while I am thinking, "Jeez, I could NEVER run a marathon."

But, given different motivations, goals, desires, incentives... couldn't we? After having done the natural childbirth thing twice I know it's not that big of a deal. Don't get me wrong, it is incredibly intense, but I know that the IDEA of it is much scarier than the REALITY of it. She might say the same about tri-athlete events or a marathon. But still we put up barriers for ourselves and decide what we "can" and "can't" do, sometimes without really exploring the limits of our abilities.

I guess you could say writing a novel is one way I am exploring the limits of my abilities. I write for a living, but it's a very specific kind of writing: research and academic publications. I love my job, but I miss having a creative outlet.

In college I did a lot of painting and printmaking, but with two small kids it is a BIG hassle (and potential disaster) to keep all those supplies out, and when I keep it all tucked safely away it is difficult to just jump in on painting or making a print. In contrast, creative writing just requires a pad of paper, or a computer-- which I have access to 24/7.

So this past year I decided to jump back into creative writing by writing a novel. I wanted to see if I could do it. I wanted a creative outlet that was child-friendly.

I didn't realize how much I would LOVE it, and how much it would mean to me after such a short period of time.

8 comments:

  1. I really like the line, "Don't get me wrong, it is incredibly intense, but I know that the IDEA of it is much scarier than the REALITY of it."

    I didn't have a natural childbirth... because I found out early on that you don't get a price break and they don't hand out metals or awards for doing it naturally. My exact words to the nurse was, "Lady I've been here for forty minutes and I'm pissed I haven't been hooked up to something."

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  2. Also like childbirth-- successfully finishing one book doesn't make writing the second any less scary!

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  3. Katherine!!! I have a song for you. :)

    Reading Time With Pickle:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oiGLex6jcDg

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  4. So true! We can never know what we're capable of unless we try :-)

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  5. thanks Michelle--Love it!

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  6. A pickle with super powers?! I'd read that book in a heartbeat!

    And you're so dead on. We have to push ourselves to find what we really can do.

    Very nice, post!

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  7. Holy crap, a super pickle. Pickle enthusiasts everywhere rejoice.

    Great response! :D

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  8. "But still we put up barriers for ourselves and decide what we "can" and "can't" do, sometimes without really exploring the limits of our abilities." Sooooo true! But I'm glad you've gotten back into creative writing! :)

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