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.