A few years ago, I was in a car with my friend, going to Stratford — alas, Ontario not England — to see a play. We were talking about writing and all the writers who owed their success or a large part of it, to her nudging and insights and professorial attention and love. Then she turned to me and said, “You write but you’re not a writer.” She was not being mean she was just stating a fact. But just the same, it made me feel just a tad embarrassed of all the times I haughtily said, “Oh, I’m a writer.” Sure I have two books to my credit, and a blog I wrote faithfully until Word Press decided to change their editing tools and I was just not interested in writing in blocks. But she may have had an inkling that for the last five years I hadn’t written much more than shopping lists and birthday cards. “If you’re a “writer,” she explained, “then you can’t live without writing.”
So I accepted that I was not a writer but it didn’t mean I couldn’t still write. Ever since Grade 4 when my essay on a haunted house won the class prize and the school prize and was sent on to the city-wide contest — I didn’t win — but because of that there has been a little part of me that secretly called myself a writer of some sort or the other. I had a statue of the Blessed Virgin won for another paper to prove my prowess with the word.
But it was such a flimsy belief not backed up with confidence and, admit it, skill. Then my writer persona got sucked out of me completely when in my 20s, I hooked up with a guy who called himself The Writer in our various households leaving no room for me. He even had the classic Underwood portable typewriter and a stint as a journalist to prove his credentials. He told me once that I was not a writer and that anything I did write, I should footnote him because all my ideas were his. And the Underwood was to be used by only when I was typing his words. Yeah, yeah, I was never a good judge of men — now I basically leave them alone or is it that they leave me alone???
So my writing during those almost ten years with him, focused on Letters Home, a little sentimental story about the house I grew up in that became a Christmas gift for my family and grocery lists in Spanish. (The good thing was that my mom saved all the letters I sent her which later became a book.)
But since I included WRITE as one of my goals for the next five years (see above), I decided it was time, or perhaps, past time, to dust off my vocabulary and start this blog yet again. How many times have I done this??? Too many my dear followers — if you’re even still out there. But this time, I’m committed.
Ive added it to my weekly Behavioural Chart of things I plan to do or not do for the week. Like drink less wine and exercise more. This is all sort of homework or a ploy by my doctor/therapist to keep me from my life-wasting addictions like NetSolitaire and into more creative, adventuresome and life rewarding activities. This chart — like my blog — I have started and stopped and started again. But this time I’m going to do it too.
So I’m ready to let you know what’s happening in my somewhat chaotic senior lady life. I’ll try — not promise — to write something every week and publish it. There, I said, wrote it out loud. Of course, that depends if WordPress cooperates and doesn’t take my Classic editing away. There may be fewer pictures until I can figure out how to insert them.
Now I’m going to go for a walk to buy some wine for the weekend. Changing habits is a hard, rough road to travel — but I’m already on it so it’s just clicking my heels every now and then to keep me going.