Writing? or Just Scribbling?

Everything that I read says that if your goal is to be a writer, then you must write every day whether it is a tiny bit of excellence or excessive excrement. I understand how this works, but I have a small problem with it, too. Well, not just one, a couple.

By trade, I’m a speech pathologist in the school systems. To say that I write every day can be a vast understatement. There are days when all I do is write: plans, lessons, behavior analysis, creative set-ups with explanation, research plans, et cetera just for my job. On those days, when I come home, the last thing I want to do is look at my computer much less put my fingers back on a keyboard. My brain is complete, utter mush when I finally find my way to a seat that is not at my desk. I’ve even been known to pass out within moments of sitting down.

When I have these days of excessive writing at work, they tend to come in spurts where for several days and sometimes weeks, I can barely keep my eyes open once I leave school. But the flipside is that once this behavior ends, I tend to gorge myself in writing for creative outlet. Writing during that time is not so much a chore as a compulsion. I find that even when I’m “resting” while the story churns in my brain, I’m truly still writing it. Ideas flow, problems solve themselves, and issues that I had before the writing flurry suddenly make incredible sense. I find my creativity spikes hard in all directions for all of my hobbies.

I’ve been told that unless you have truly written that you never know what it’s like to stick with something. Well, I have stuck something, twice. I spent a year working on and writing my dissertation. It was a work of love and hate, joy and excessive pain. In the end, when it was finally ready for its birth, I collapsed in exhaustion never more ready for something to go away than that piece. So, yes, I’ve done a long work. I chose to write a qualitative piece, instead of the more accepted quantitative, that was over 300 pages when done. So, even in academia, I was playing to my strengths of expression.

So, no, I don’t do creative writing every day. Maybe I’ll never be a true “writer” but I have achieved my goal of writing stories, poems, and papers. It may not be a “writer” in the manner that is prescribed by so many successful “writers” and “authors”, but it is my way. Perhaps it only works for me. Perhaps because my goal is writing and not necessarily publishing, that’s what makes it work.

I write for enjoyment, for purging, for release, for companionship, and for escape. I write to learn about myself, to let my brain wander to the places it needs to go to heal. Writing is a part of me that I’ve lived with since I was in elementary school when I wrote my first counted poem in third grade about wolves running free. By the time I was in fifth grade, I had improved to the point of winning the district level essay competition. So, yes, the ability to write has wrapped itself around me sometimes like a blanket and other times in the form of a python strangling me until I gave into the ideas that it wanted me to bring about. Granted sometimes the blanket brings out scribbling while the python brings out the writer.

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