January 23, 2009

Getting Started

Ages ago I fancied myself a writer in training. I'd produce short stories - never anything much longer - with some regularity and a little bit of pride. Life intervened. Kids, job, more kids, more jobs. I stopped writing.

The thought has occurred to me that I am therefore not a writer.

This thought occurred during the recent presidential election, when I watched Katie Couric's interview with Sarah Palin. Scary lady for a lifelong liberal like myself. But impressive all the same. Smart, passionate, committed ... and remarkably poorly informed about anything outside the borders of her state. To me, this means she is not qualified to be president. Because the person who will be president should care so much about the country and the world that too much information is never enough. She should be reading about it constantly, unable to keep from the news, from history, from the workings of it all. Becoming President is the cap to a life where you can't help but seek out the things you need to do that job. The knowledge you need, that is not something you can build in a few months. It's a calling far more than it is an avocation. Ms. Palin didn't have that calling, and regardless of her politics, I think this is why she is not qualified to be this nation's president.

This is true also of writers. Real writers, they never stop writing. They seek out opportunities to write. Even with kids, jobs, the pressure of life in general, they make the time.

I've never been able to do that. I've kept journals for a few weeks, but then trailed off as things I deemed more important take my time.

What do I make time for? My kids, first and always. Cooking. Spending time in grocery stores, just browsing. Decorating cakes. And after that, knitting, crocheting, needlepoint. Even reading, another passion, often takes a back seat to these "callings." These are the things that make my life livable.

I've been reading more blogs, and the ones that work are written from the heart. The writer has a calling, even if that calling is not first to write. If I want to write - and I admit that I do - then I need to tie it to one of my callings. Because writing for the sake of writing, that is not enough for me.

So I'm going to try my hand at a blog ... and create one that is about the things I love. Children, food, the arts that turn the average mom into a domestic diva. Let's see if it works! If it does, maybe I'll expand my audience beyond the three friends I allow to see this ...

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