[NOTE: I am participating in the Writing Contest: How Writing Has Positively Influenced My Life. Hosted by Positive Writer/ See more here.]
Writing a blog has enabled me to express diverse opinions or observations on culture, life or the human spirit, through sharing glimpses of my thought processes or simply commenting on that which stirs, troubles or enthuses me. In releasing those words onto a page for public consumption, I’m effectively setting my thoughts and ideas free. Thoughts that would otherwise bombard my spirit relentlessly.
Every time I hit the ‘publish’ button on a blog post, or ‘send’ on an email containing an attached article, even when I’m aware of its flaws or shortcomings, there arises an acute sense of satisfaction within; I’m allowing myself to think, to create, to be. To withhold the words would be to deny my true sense of self. I write, therefore I am. Articles and blog posts enable me to influence and to respond, to make my mark in some small way amidst the sea of voices that battle for attention. It matters little to me whether my writing is liked; what matters more is that I might have caused others to think, to respond or to care. And if that’s only one reader, so be it. It’s in writing that I discover a deeper sense of who I am and who I aspire to be. It’s in writing that I realise my calling, my destiny.
Through my humble foray into the world of poetry, I’ve learned to bare my soul through the outpouring of heartache or joys, to create a literary dance by experimenting with rhythm and line. Poems are enabling me to grapple with feelings, with struggles, with pain. A minor expression of art leaves its mark when I dare to allow words to formulate a written mirror of my soul. I’m able to look back and see how I’ve developed as a person, how selfishness has chipped away and how I’ve seen the bigger picture and begun to appreciate other perspectives. In dabbling with the poetic, I’m harnessing the power of literary ingenuity – not only to soothe uncertainty, fear and doubt, but also to brighten, uplift and restore.
The poems I write may just be ramblings or simple verses, but to me they are evidence of a human being’s wrestling with trying to understand life, to understand faith. In penning verses, there are no rules nor restrictions; I am the master who can let the words run free – and in doing so, set myself free. Writing poetry releases me from my prison of self and allows me to rise above anything that is thrown at me.
The writing of a novel was a daring feat; who was I to think it could even be possible? Yet once the idea was birthed within me, it would not let me go. The story found me and demanded to be written, even though my inherent laziness fought to deter me from even beginning the project. The muse may have grabbed me, but it was not going to do the work for me! The crafting of my novel took me beyond my natural capabilities and into a steep learning curve whereby all my literary inadequacies were laid bare. It’s a humbling process when you recognise how little you know about novel writing when you actually begin to write. Rather than feeling dejected, I decided to invest my energies breathing life into my story and to accept the need for a professional editor. Although I was writing a children’s fantasy novel, I became captivated by my protagonist, as his struggles and disappointments became mine. I lived and breathed a futuristic story that developed and grew as I allowed it to fill my mind and grip my soul.
Writing ‘The Book Beyond Time’ fuelled a creativity within me that I had not realised even existed. It was never my intention to write a novel; it did not feature in my life’s plans. Yet once my father began to succumb to cancer’s cruel grip, I started writing with a passion and fury that arose within, my fingers tapping away cathartically. As I delved fully into the process and let myself be consumed by its vision, the novel took shape and developed – and in doing so, shaped me. In remembering the words of my high school English teacher, who once wrote: “You have the makings of a writer, I think”, I must admit feeling a compulsion to fulfil the prophecy pronounced over me.
In completing the project and holding the finished, printed product in my hands, I honestly felt that my purpose for being had been realised and that if I died the next day, I would be content in knowing that I had made my mark and left a legacy for my children. Though my Dad didn’t live to see it, I know he would have been proud. As readers have shared personally with me how much they enjoyed the story or how it affected them, I’m left touched by the power of purpose and the value of pursuing one’s dreams to completion. To know that my children have been captivated by my story evokes emotions that are difficult to describe. I may not be a brilliant writer, but I’m developing the writer within and taking risks that I never imagined I’d take. And my life is oh so richer as a result.
What a sweet story. I did a lot of writing around my father’s death too. But ultimately, following your heart and writing…creating a book, leaving that legacy for your family, that is awesome. Congrats.
By the way, I think you are a brilliant writer. Just for taking the risks you are taking and for simply showing up and writing, you are already doing so much in your writing life!