Every day I write. In the morning. In the afternoon. Sometimes in the evening.
It’s not a choice for me.
It’s a calling. And when I stopped running away from myself, I heeded the call.
You see, when my pen touches the page, that’s when I feel grounded, centred … at one with myself and the world.
Writing is the truest expression of who I am.
I don’t write with the aim of becoming a New York Times bestselling author or hoping to win the Man Booker International Prize. Sure, those things could happen, but that’s not what keeps me in the game.
Writing is about witnessing the world around me, taking a snapshot of a moment in time — and trying to make sense of it all. Writing lets me tell a story through a different lens, from the experiences that have shaped my life and helped me to become who I am. Writing frees me from the hate, intolerance and misunderstandings plaguing our world today. Writing is a golden opportunity to showcase the beauty that is this world and the great things we’ve done — and can still do — when we come together in spite of our differences.
That’s why I must write … every day. When I don’t write, I’m irritable, grumpy and feel like I’ve lost my footing. That’s how I often felt on days when I went without coffee (before I gave up caffeine).
Like I said, it’s not a choice for me. If it were, I would have abandoned writing when my novel, Freestyle Love, flopped in 2011. But I kept writing and, not letting self-doubt get the better of me, self-published The Flowers Need Watering in 2017. I could have given up after receiving countless rejections from various literary journals and publishers. Instead, I kept writing, honing my skills and opted to share my stories online through Twitter Fiction Tuesdays (#TwitFicTues) and my Fiction Friday series.
Yes, I kept writing for the love of the work, to see it through to completion, to — in some small way — be of service.
Never Give Up
Despite my passion, despite my commitment, there are still days when I ask myself: What’s the point? Am I on the right path? Is anyone paying attention? So, I take a moment to remind myself of what Steven Pressfield says in, Do the Work!: “Resistance is a repelling force. It’s negative. Its aim is to shove us away, distract us, prevent us from doing our work.”[note]Steven Pressfield, Do the Work!, Do You Zoom, Inc., 2011.[/note]
That’s when I buckle down and focus. Resistance won’t have dominion over me.
When we write, paint, compose — create — for the love of it, I feel like that’s the moment when providence moves. The stars align and our creative world comes into focus. We know exactly where we are, where we want to go, and what we need to do to get there.
When we show up each day for the love of the work, we know we have the necessary courage and faith to do whatever it takes to make our dreams come true.
That’s why we’ll never give up.