Writing : A First Love on the Side
Finding A First Love
Years ago, my older sister asked me, "If you're not doing what you're doing right now, career-wise, what would you do?"
I immediately replied, "Writing."
"Sounds quite ambitious....that's great! What would you write about?"
"Oh you know, maybe poems and short stories at first. I already wrote several poems..."
"That you did," she allowed because I had already showed her a few of my poems. "Quite good too, I think."
"Thanks! Anyway, after a few years, if things work out, maybe I'll write shorts stories. Or a novel. Or a non-fiction work, a topic of interest to me. What do you think?" I asked. I honestly wanted her opinion on if I had what it takes to be a good writer.
My sister replied, "I think you can do it. Your poems are interesting. If you continue, you can only get better."
I felt encouraged. I thought, "I will be a writer."
Did I think that I was particularly good at it? No. But it mattered that someone thought so.
“You don’t start out writing good stuff. You start out writing crap and thinking it’s good stuff, and then gradually you get better at it.
That’s why I say one of the most valuable traits is persistence.”— ― Octavia E. Butler
Always A First Love
Many years and a few career-moves later, I settled on working full-time as a Christian worker. It has been decades since I started my current work, and I dont' regret anything. I love working in the field as a minister.
Did I lose my love and passion for writing?
There were indeed years following my talk with my sister in which I lost interest in continuing writing. Mostly, it was because I was busy pursuing study and then employment at the time. I had ambitions which had nothing to do with writing.
....well, maybe that one time when I wanted to be a reporter. Then I found something better, or so I thought.
Anyway, at the back of my mind, there was always the thought that I would one day write again, even if I settled on a different career I would love.
Then I became a minister, and have been ever since.
“Every secret of a writer’s soul, every experience of his life, every quality of his mind, is written large in his works.”
— Virginia Woolf
Love On The Side
How did I return to writing?
Well, I attended a motivational seminar. The speaker said at one point, "If you have a gift, then don't waste it. Use it. Make it grow. Let it be profitable to you, for your self-growth."
As far as motivational speech goes, that one hit me head-on. The impact was unavoidable.
Before that seminar, I had been told by a few people whose opinions I respected, that I had a gift for story telling. They suggested I write up the stories. Incudently, this led to them suggesting that i could be a good writer if I really applied myself to it. Back in secondary school, my english teacher encouraged me to keep writing, after she read a piece I wrote.
The seminar was very timely. I decided to not let my passion for writing fade away, even if I couldn't do it full-time, for various reasons.
When I settled on my current work, gradually I started to write again. A poem here and there, just to get back into the rhythm, to see if I lost my beat. Turned out I didn't, so I grew enough confidence to write my first short stories, for children. Then, I wrote more short stories, a few of which I published independantly online.
Thus, I started to write on the side. I joined a few blogging sites before I started my own site a few years ago.
I find that my current work works quite well in fanning my passion for writing. I use the experience I get on the field to produce ideas. I also have the time.
I think my most pressing problem in not writing would be my own self, in that I might become lazy or unmotivated. Happens to the best of us. Writing blocks only occur when I refuse to entertain ideas which potentially could produce interesting results.
The good thing about writing on the side is that I can write about whatever I like, even if very few people read it. It's important to write because you love it, and that you are passionate about the topics you discuss.
Eventually, when your 'voice' is out there long enough and loud enough, you will gain listeners, or in this case readers.
So write, and keep your passion.
© 2019 Lynne Samuel