For me, that fire to write – write anything, a poem, a short story, play, pages in my novels, even ideas for any creative piece – began to fade over a decade ago. I was devastated and embarrassed after a very bad experience with my first, and only, published work.
For a few years, attending writing classes at a local college and participating in a small writers’ critique group kept me going. I thought I’d rewrite the book – it wasn’t exactly a polished work of art, anyway – or start another book. And I began both tasks. Then, as I stopped attending creative writing classes and the critique group fell apart, so did my drive.
No argument, that was MY choice. I chose not to write more than a few hours a week, sometimes in an entire month. I used many excuses, some fair, most convenient, to avoid facing the fear of “failure” again. But the need to “succeed” had not been the driving force for my writing in the first place.
I started writing simply for the joy of creating characters and story lines, and seeing those characters come alive. It was FUN. It was exciting to watch a character take over and become much more than I had originally planned.
In later years, the drive came from sharing that hard to define creative spark with other writers. To partake in the incredibly generous act of reading each others’ work aloud, no matter the genre, and of giving and accepting feedback. It is so revealing to hear your words come out of someone else’s mouth!
I recently began talking with a coworker about his goal to write a novel. As the conversations continued, there it was – that shared sense of fun and discovery. It’s just a whisper right now, true, but if I listen…
I have resumed writing and, on a whim, I started this journal to keep track of my voyage back to passion.