Get. To. Work.
I came across this quote yesterday in a book about writing. It struck me because it’s not only how I feel about writing, but also about life, in general. I’ve written here before about my desire to be of use in the world, an impetus behind my life I’ve recognized consciously for many years. For me, writing has often been a way of being of service, at least in my mind. That is my intention – for what I write to be of use to the people who read it. I have had a lot of blogs over the years, and my drive to write them has always been the same, to share my experience of life on this planet, in the hope that someone will benefit from it. I do the writing, and I figure it’s the Universe’s job to send people who need to read it.
Writing has been a part of my life for as long as I can remember. When I was quite young, 2nd or 3rd grade, I remember trying to figure out how books were made, cuz I wanted to write actual books! I wrote story after story and taped or stapled the pages together, made covers out of cardboard, illustrated them, and agonized over just the right titles to go on those covers. I wrote scripts for puppet shows, and put them on for my playmates in the neighborhood. Admission price was a penny, but if you didn’t have a penny, that was okay. My goal was to entertain, not collect pennies. I’m not even sure why I chose to charge admission. I suspect that like making books with cardboard covers, charging admission made it seem real.
I wrote stories about EVERYTHING, and I read them to my dolls, the cat, and later the dog, who was a lot more attentive than the cat. Most have been lost, but I still have one about a priest who lost his faith, that I wrote when I was 11 or 12. I can’t imagine how I presumed to think that I had any idea what it was like to be an adult, let alone a priest, and how I ever came up with that idea is lost to me now.
I just loved to write. I loved stories. It was fun to make things up and write them down. I thought for sure I would grow up to be a successful writer, like P. L. Travers (Mary Poppins), Lucy Maud Montgomery (Anne of Green Gables), Laura Ingalls Wilder, or Louise Fitzhugh (Harriet the Spy), who were my favorites, along with many others. I read everything I could get my hands on, and I wrote everything I could think of.
I still love and do both of those things, though time is limited now, and my taste in books has changed, although those are all still favorites. I have always thought of myself first and foremost as a writer, though that has not been the way I’ve made my living, except for a brief stint as a journalist many moons ago, which I didn’t enjoy very much. I didn’t stick with it, though the training was valuable.
Writing is simply the way I process life, the way I look at the world. I still love it like I did when I was a little kid. I’ve blogged, in one form or another, since the internet was text only, though in the beginning it wasn’t called blogging. Most of my writing online then was on news groups and bulletin boards. I’ve taken time off over the years, but for the most part of the last 30 years I was writing on a blog somewhere. I still write short stories, and poems, and I’ve knocked out large parts of several novels that never were finished for one reason or another. Writing has always been life for me – there is no separation.
So, having said all that, I also realized yesterday when I read that sentence, that I’ve been absent from this blog for a long time, and I haven’t been journaling or writing at all for too long. It’s time again to get to work. My life is complicated these last few years, and time is at a premium, but if I’m not writing, I’m not living.
It’s really that simple.
What work are you neglecting? What will cause you to get back to it? The world needs all of us now, doing whatever it is we were meant to do, playing whatever role toward healing this planet and our humanity you feel you were given. The best gift we can give to the universe right now is simply being true to ourselves. Trust your gut, and get back to it. You may or may not be paid for your important work, and you may not feel like it’s good enough. None of that matters. Find what you love and just do it. Whatever it is. Trust that the universe gave you that love for a reason and follow it through.
Be brave, and get back to work! It probably won’t make you rich and famous, but it just might make you happy, and that’s all that really matters. Let me know how it goes!