This week, I've been thinking a lot about the kind of life that creative writing makes possible. It's been brought about by one undeniable fact: I'm getting older.
My birthday is July 5th. As a kid, that meant no one was home for birthday parties, but there were fireworks and my dad had the day off from work (I didn't realize this was due to its proximity to a national holiday. I thought Dads stayed home on their daughter's birthdays).
This year, Pete and I piled into the truck with the camping gear and the dog and drove into the mountains. Four years in Colorado now, and I still get a kick out of the fact that we can drive over streams and up to high mountain meadows andcamp anywhere. Truly. Anywhere.
I find that amazing. Just as I still find it incredible to watch water pour off of mountainsides in cascading waterfalls. To sleep in the back of the truck and feel more at home there than anywhere else. To walk across debris covered snowfields--remnants of last winter's avalanches, branches still covered with bright green needles.
Writing gave me this life. And I don't mean the job as the newspaper editor, or the articles in the Wall Street Journal. I mean the creative writing, where I dug into the topics that I needed to explore whether or not they got published. The writing that took not one draft or two drafts or three, but immeasurable drafts to get right. Where asking someone to read it was like asking them to read my journal---a little bit raw and a lot bit vulnerable.
That's the kind of writing that helped me get clear on who I am and what I want. It gave me the clarity I needed to make changes.
It's why I'm excited to see where my new novel leads. Sure, I'd love a publishing contract. But deep down? I know that writing it will lead me away from restlessness and toward adventure. To new places of understanding.
When you say yes to creative writing, you're saying yes to so much more. You're saying yes to untapped potential. To experience and adventure. You're saying yes to you.
I think, sometimes, that's where the procrastination comes from. It's why writing takes courage. You open the door to questions about failure and fear and what if... But when that YES comes from a place of true intention, a desire for growth, and a sense of possibility? I know it leads to good places:
What do you think? Will you seek the courage to say yes?
This post is a reprint from the WritingStrides Newsletter, out on Tuesdays. Subscribe to receive the best of my news, updates, insights and writing activities.