I have been given several gifts as I’ve explored my path towards writing fulfillment. Let me tell you about two.
I had been playing around at writing since my late husband, Pete, and I were married in 1982. In 1988, we had bought our first home together and there were four bedrooms, one for each kid, our master bedroom and a fourth that we wondered what to do with. It was Pete who insisted that it should be my writing room.
I still didn’t sit down and write very often. One Saturday morning, he led me from the bedroom, still in my nightgown, to the writing room and firmly said; “Now I’m going to make breakfast and bring it to you. I’ll bring you lunch. Except for potty breaks, you can’t come out until you’ve written 10 pages.” And then he pushed me gently towards my IBM Selectric typewriter.
I wrote that day - 11 pages. After that: I wrote nine screenplays, we bought a computer, I placed highly in a contest and gained two offers from agents, settling on one, met with all kinds of Hollywood people. Nothing sold and I moved on – BUT I had started writing for real, instead of just talking about doing it. I will always treasure this gift my Pete gave to me.
Secondly, years later I was struggling to write again and a very kind woman gave me a copy of The Artist’s Way by Julia Cameron. This book is geared towards bringing out the artist who resides inside us through simple means – so simple it seems too simple at first. But it works so well. Shortly after receiving this book, I sold a romance to Woman’s World for $1,100 and finally thought – “My God, I am a writer.”
So, I’ve made it my mission in life to encourage other writers to start or stick with it. I meet people who so obviously have a writer buried inside that it’s almost painful to view. If I don’t have the means to give them the book at that time, I at least give them the information so they can get it themselves.
But as writers, we all know, this is a delicate state of mind – the writing doesn’t always want to come. Our muse has left temporarily. This is when we need each other the most. So, if you spot a fellow writer that needs a push or a helping hand – give it. It’s the least we can do in return for our own gifts.