Tonight I had a great, long conversation with a friend about vocation and passion and inner voices. I’ve written about the inner voice that has followed me since I was nine-years old, saying “But… You want to be a writer!” Turns out my friend has had one, too, since she was about 15. Hers says, “But… You want to get a PhD!”
I am wondering tonight, what happens if we ignore those voices? What happens if we reach 50 or 60 years of age and that voice has gone unanswered all those years? I don’t want to find out, because I don’t think it’s good. It’s taken me 30 years to realize that this voice isn’t going anywhere, and that’s just pathetic.
Two nights ago I went to a friend’s reading. He just published his second novel. I feel so happy and proud of him (Benjamin Parzybok, “Sherwood Nation”). He did this super cool thing after the reading, where he told the audience which bar he would be at, if anyone wanted to continue the conversation. Of course I went, because I really like Ben and because I am a bit of a lush. It was a wonderful time of good, intelligent conversation and writerly company. Affirming.
Since I am not producing enough at this time to share, and since I want to keep posting regularly with less rambling, I am going to share, bit by bit, the journey of my inspiration as a writer/creative. This brings me to Writing Down the Bones by Natalie Goldberg. I assume most folks have heard of her by now, but if not, this book is a must read for aspiring writers. I read it so many years ago that I really can’t speak to any specifics of what I liked, but let me just say that Goldberg’s book dispelled any doubts I held onto that I wasn’t a writer. The book is so jazzy, motivating, inspiring and fun, you can’t help but want to jump up (or sit down) and start writing. More than that, it really just tears down the whole snobby idea of Writer and gets you putting pen to page.
Here is a sketch I did of myself and my siblings, as cartoons: