I write so I can breathe

For me writing is a way of opening up, allowing, connecting to something beyond myself. It is not the making up of story, but the revealing of a story.

I have always loved story, it is the oldest form of teaching. And so it is no surprise that it is story that makes a beautiful river of my life. And the more I grow spiritually, the more the light dances on that river.

Spiritual evolution is as much a passion for me as writing, in fact, it is a way of living, a way of be-ing in this world.

What people are often surprised to learn, is that our understandings evolve as we evolve. What I believe today can change completely with an insight tomorrow, and so my understanding changes, grows, expands–this is as it is meant to be!

Visionary fiction is a playground that expands, grows, evolves, and in the beauty of that I am able to let myself expand, grow and evolve as a writer. I am often surprised by the very story I am telling, and through the writing I learn and grow, and that is why I am committed to both journeys, because they are interconnected. In the writing of the story I am open, receptive, and through that openness wisdom rises, understandings step forth, insights bring themselves into the light. And I grow, and I learn, and I evolve.

I claim to be a writer, while others insist I am a teacher…but surely every writer is a teacher? Are we becoming a society that does not place value on story? Do we see the creation of novels as frivolous? Or do we understand the art of writing, the passion of the writer, and yes, the sacrifice the writer makes to take that time and energy to create something from the very blood of their soul–for sometimes that is what it feels like!

I don’t just sit down, and a story pours forth, and then it’s done. It is not always easy to get into that space where the story comes through freely. Some days are a challenge. Some days I am trying to force the writing, and it isn’t happening, other days I get out of my own way. And then at the end of the first draft, there is the editing, editing and more editing, and then a sitting back, and then another edit. Each time I edit I am fascinated by what I have written.

I sit down at my computer at 8 a.m. and am often there until 6 p.m. I eat breakfast and lunch at my desk, and I don’t take a lunch break. I do treat myself the luxury of having a coffee with a friend when the opportunity arises. But I am there, disciplined, writing, editing, growing.

It can be lonely being a writer, with only the characters for company, and it is an exhausting job on many a day. Yes, there are many brilliant writers out there who work a full time mainstream job and fit their writing time in between the hours of 3 a.m. and 6 a.m., or they come home from a long day and then sit down at the computer, or they work five days in a mainstream job and then all weekend at the computer. I don’t know how they do it! But that’s just it, isn’t it? Writing is in the blood, we bleed the story onto the page, and we cannot help ourselves. If I don’t write I feel like I am not breathing.

And, like many writers, I understand myself better when I am writing. Weird, I know, but true. Flannery O’Connor (American novelist, short-story writer and essayist) said it well, “I write because I don’t know what I think until I read what I say.”

You are a writer when you know you have to write to be able to breathe.