Why I Write

pretty flowersTonight I am not sure what I want to write about or even how to start.  I have a thousand words in my mind, but at the same time I am lost for words. Tonight I am rambling. Thinking. Writing.

Some of you may be wondering what’s the point of writing a post if there’s nothing really to write about ?  And believe me, I asked myself the same question. I considered a myriad of topics and urged each one of them to take the shape of words in my mind.  I considered writing my response to the school dress code issue that was all over the news tonight – I considered writing about my dreams of one day owning a cottage (inspired by my current favourite Pinterest board, aptly named “Cottage Love”) – I considered telling you about an interesting poll a colleague of mine did today that showed half of her primary students show up to school hungry and tired – and while I will still likely write future posts on any or all of these topics, instead I choose to ramble.

So why?

Because I need to. As ironic as it may seem for a writer to be lost for words, I am not exactly sure how to explain the feeling that overcomes me – the urgent need and desire to write.  To be creative.  To express myself.  My laptop beckons me from it’s place in our living room and taunts me.  Write, write, write it calls.  And I want to. But what can I write about?  Who am I writing to?  For which purpose am I writing?  To simply do something I enjoy? Or to attract a variety of readers and entice more people to follow my blog? And what if it’s not good enough?  Not poetic enough?  What if my word choice is not strong enough?

So many times I have written and erased, written and erased.  I read over my own work – sometimes as I go, sometimes at the end.  Erase. Tweak. Edit. Revise.  That could be said better.  This is not what I meant.  This is a stronger word.  Copy and paste.  Cut. Delete.  Chop, chop, chop and arrange. Are all writers this judgemental of their own work?calm

When I was a child, I loved to write stories.  Make-believe, fictional stories that I spent hours writing.  While the words poured out of me and my pencil furiously scribbled them on paper, I delighted in my story.  I was proud of my words.  Excited.  Eager to share the ideas forming in my mind. After, my teachers and parents would praise me and tell me how good my writing was but by then I always doubted it. I’d always question it. I was my own worst critic. I’d re-read it and find phrases I didn’t like, doubt my plot, question if my vocabulary was right.

Even now when I write blog posts, the words come pouring out of me like blood gushing out of a deep wound. My husband says I type so fast that my keyboard is going to catch fire. But I am trying to keep up.  In my mind, the next sentence is forming in my mind, as I am writing the former.  Sometimes my fingers can’t find the keys fast enough.

I remember when I was a kid our teacher would always make us write a “plan” before we were allowed to write a story.  I hated the “plan”.  The ideas were already taking shape in my mind, the characters were speaking to me, and the setting was painting a picture.  I wanted to write it down as fast as I could.  I wanted to get my ideas on paper before they were gone.  But my teacher insisted that I had to do the “plan”.  I will never make my students write a “plan” if they don’t need one.writing

Even this very blog was born out of my need/desire to write.  I had this urge to be creative (as I often do).  I’m not a painter, I don’t do crafts or play a musical instrument, and although I tried scrapbooking, it was never my thing.  What’s my art?  I am a writer.  To be a writer, is simply to write.  I am not professional.  I am not published (not recently anyway).  I don’t write books.  But I can write.  I can take my inspirations and experiences and put them into words that form a piece of writing.

More importantly, by writing I can quiet my mind.  I can take all the thoughts that swirl in my mind all day – that exhaust me, overwhelm me, and consume me, and release them.  I let go of the words and  I find quiet, calmness, and peace. I find honesty, curiosity, creativity, self-doubt.  I find joy, pride, courage, and uncertainty.

But most of all, when I write, I find myself.



True Dreams of a Writer

I’ve been thinking about this topic for awhile now and tonight when I saw my friend’s post about it on Facebook, it made me think of it again. Her post was about all the careers we dream of when we are small, versus where we really end up in life and what we actually end up doing.

Beautiful things on my dream desk.

Beautiful things on my dream desk.

Growing up, I imagined many different careers for myself.  When I was really little, I looked up to my teachers and dreamed of being one myself.  When I got older I thought I would become a lawyer (but later realized I’d simply been reading too many John Grisham novels).  For many years, I dreamed of being a dancer, particularly a ballerina, Broadway, or music video dancer.  Then, as I set out to university, I dreamed of being a journalist and working a glamorous job at a glossy magazine.

Now, all these years later, I have a job I truly love:  an elementary school teacher.  It’s not surprising, being that throughout my youth I was always that student who absolutely loved school.  I loved the social aspect, I loved writing, and I was one of the few kids who was actually thrilled when the teacher said it was time for independent reading!

Love this!

Love this!

Teaching allows me to use many of my natural skills (planning, organizing, communication…) and has taught me many new ones (leadership, differentiation, flexibility to name a few).  I am lucky to have the freedom to create my own lessons (provided they meet a variety of standards) and enjoy coming up with new and exciting ideas to motivate, inspire, and educate my students!

Oh, my students!  They are the reason I teach.  I wanted a job where I could have a real affect on the world, where I could help shape tomorrow’s future (as cliché as that sounds).  And while I have that opportunity in my profession, even better is the affect those wee little ones have had on me!

On early mornings when I practically have to drag myself to work, all it takes is the first little cutie to call out “Bonjour Madame!” as I walk into the building and their smile brightens my day.  Teaching primary means lots of hugs, mistakenly being called “Mom” often, and kids who generally aim really hard to please. It’s no wonder watching them meet milestones, accomplish goals, and discover new things is so fascinating and rewarding. It’s really true what they say – that they aren’t just my students, that they practically become my own children – my little babies that I get to nurture, teach, and love.

So very true.

So very true.

But despite everything I love about teaching, I often wonder about other careers I could have had (or might end up having in the future, because we never really know where life might take us) And then just recently, when my Dad suddenly lost his job after 25 years of hard work and dedication, it made me think about it again.  Are other people like me?  Do they have a job they truly love, but another career in mind that would fulfill their inner passion?  A position that would be their ultimate dream job?

For me, my ultimate dream job would be to be a writer.  The life of those who create, write, and blog seems so incredibly glamorous (although I am not naïve enough to believe it’s always so, or that these people don’t work their behinds off as much as anybody else!)  I dream of a beautiful home office decorated in white with touches of soft gray, pink, and gold. There are fresh flowers, beautiful journals, and a softly-scented candle on my desk.  My office has giant windows with a beautiful view of lush vegetation and the lake outside.   It is quiet.  Oh, so quiet with maybe only the sound of Tucker snoring softly at my feet.  My days consist of sipping my coffee, writing, and creating in my own personal oasis.  I might be writing blog entries, magazine articles, children’s books, or even a novel.

This is how I imagine my dream office.

This is how I imagine my dream office.

I know all of this is an over-the-top dream that seems a little too perfect and, while I like to think of myself as a dreamer, I know very little or possibly none of this will come true. But the whole concept of having a job you truly love versus that inner passion is interesting to me.  Very few people are lucky enough to take their true passion and turn it into a realistic, feasible career.

So I leave you with this thought – is your current job your true passion?  Or if you could do anything and make a living at it, what would you do?  I’d love to hear about it ~ leave your thoughts in the comments below!