21/02/2009

A writing life




My writing life began in my childhood room, in my parents’ house. It was roomy and airy, I could see palm trees from the large window and hear the wind that caressed their long shaped leaves, I could smell the earth in the garden when it rained. The desk where I sat to study and read was gorgeously carved and made of solid, velvety wood. I felt safe and at ease every time I put pen to paper. From there I wrote journals, poems, letters, stories my teenage mind made up.

That´s probably why I find writing so comfortable. It feels as cozy as coming home. All the way through my life I have written for several reasons. To keep sane, to go crazy, to unwind, to slow down, to speed up. I never really stopped to consider why I wrote but one day, not long ago, after the internet and weblogs, I realized I was writing to impress. I stopped.

For a good part of two years notebooks were kept in drawers and ideas kept away. Motivation vanished when I understood I was writing for the wrong reasons and that´s why my texts felt so unfamiliar to me. Instead of soothing, writing began to feel straining.

But once you´re a writer – and I believe we´re writers when we write, not when we get published or acknowledged – the addiction will eventually catch you off guard and you´ll find yourself staring at a blank page craving to toy with words again.

So here I am. I´m writing. But I can´t help asking myself why.

Some people are born to do something. My younger brother for example, was born to be a jet pilot. My husband is a natural web developer. My older brother is an expert in finances. They skillfully do what they do in such an inherent way you can´t imagine them doing anything else.

What was I born to do? What felt stimulating and yet comfortable enough to make me leap out of bed every morning and do it with passion?

Writing. The answer came to me in a vigorous insight the day I realized why I wanted to do it. I want to touch people with words. To keep them sane, to help them go crazy, to let them unwind, to slow them down, to speed them up.

I´m a writer. I´m home.

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