I was 42 years old when I finally began to be a creative writer.
All through my 20's and 30's, I had convinced myself that I was too busy helping my family, too busy with work, didn't have the free time, or extra money and not knowledgeable enough, to embark on a new path other than being a Bookstore clerk and later, manager.
Truth be told, being a writer never really occurred to me in any serious way.
I was comfortable in the lonely life I led, reading books, listening to my music CD's, watching my videos, watching TV, going to the movies every weekend, not interested even in the types of things my peers engaged in for a social life.
Then one day online friends helped me realize that I had talent as a writer and it occurred to me that I would age whether I began to write and blog and that I might respect myself more and build personal and creative, confidence as one of the first bike bloggers online, a poet, storyteller and amateur journalist, than as someone who stayed mostly alone, blocked and yearning.
We are never too old to learn new things, or be "young at heart". This just means being willing to be a beginner.
It took courage to allow myself to go online in 1998, to leave my bookstore job in 2001, to move to Orange County in 2002, to become a blogger that year and expand my horizons as a writer, rediscovering talent that had lain mostly dormant since the 1980's and early 90's, when I was getting comments published in comics, erasing words in a glossy Star Trek "History "Book and writing my own version in their place and surprisingly, getting an autobiographical piece published in a Star Trek Anthology.
It took courage to allow myself to begin what has been a decade long journey of learning how to express myself as a writer and find ways to build a bit of a social life, online and off.
I had to focus on taking one step at a time. I could not think of the distance I had to travel before I could call myself a poet, a storyteller, a photographer, a journalist.
I had to remember that I was learning to write in new ways and to be a blogger and that the word "Write" was operative here.
I have had to remember that just because, other than Googlers and other Searchers, aplenty and spam comments/trackbacks by the hundreds a day, I have no true idea how many real, interested, readers, I have for either Meowsings, or this blog (or had for The Cycling Dude), or how many blogrolls we are on, that there ARE people out there who know of my work, enjoy it and even spread the word, though comments, e-mails and link backs, are few.
I AM a Versatile Writer! I AM a Versatile Blogger!
To begin at all, to go forward from today, into a bright, new, hoped for, future, personally and creatively, that I've only shared with a few (Is there a book, or 3 in me, in what I've written over a decade, in ideas I've let sit untouched on old blog posts for several years? Pieces that I still hope to get constructive feedback on.), I have to run with the notion that there is no-one else like me on the net, doing the type of blogging and creative writing, exactly as I do.
Writing and Blogging, entered my everyday life in wonderful, amazing and personal, ways.
Once in a while I will catch myself thinking...
"Oh my God! I actually wrote this piece!"
"Oh my God! I actually wrote this series!"
"Oh my God! I actually got PETA to call me creative, even as they got pissed off at me!"
"Oh my God! I actually pissed off a founder of Critical Mass!"
"Oh my God! Instapundit, Dave Johnston, Alan Merrill, Al Martinez, Michelle Malkin, Kate Peters, Rick Lupert, Doug Powers, Mat Coker, Matthew Boyle, Annemarie Dooling, La Shawn Barber, Randy Eady, Chris Balish, Gary Fisher, Billy Savage, the Daily Pelaton, the OC Register and the VRev John A. Jillions like me and my writing!"
As a writer, I am learning that good writing and good moods do not necessarily go together. On some of my worst days, the best work often emerges, even if it's just a lengthy status update on my Facebook.
I love the process that I am in: the books I read, the blog pieces and websites and challenges, the people I have met and become friends with, online and off, from which I learn new things and am inspired by.
Learning to be a writer.
****This essay inspired by reading Week 1 of the book Finding Water by Julia Cameron
**** Follow-up of sorts = I Am Sooo Grounded and Other Thoughts