I am not a professional writer. Although I will claim some expertise in expressing myself, some ease and familiarity with words and their patterns, and certainly a rudimentary knowledge of grammar and its rules, that doesn’t elevate me to the status of professional.
I have been a professional in business. I have been a professional parent. In each of those instances they were full-time jobs. My responsibilities were top priority and my time and attention were directed to the success of those ventures. I kept myself educated to the necessities for the sake of service to my clients and/or to my family,and threw myself wholeheartedly into whatever task was at hand. I understand professionalism.
And I’m not exactly a dilettante either.
Writing has always been a part of my life. I was praised for my horrid poetry as a child. I always aspired to be a “writer” and lacking imagination consigned aims toward non-fiction. As a freelancer I received the obligatory hundreds of rejections and had the satisfaction of reading my articles in print. In those days I longed to be a professional writer with what I imagined to be the attendant fame and fortune. Now I realize that the financial rewards of being a professional are unimportant to me and being known for who I am to those I care about is much more valuable to me than the recognition of many.
I have also written because at the time it was my mission to write. Writing this blog seemed a very important part of my day. I still love the concept of telling those I love how much they mean to me. I know that leaving a history of feelings and insights is as important as creating a family tree or building a valuable inheritance for my descendants. And offering words and ideas to those who have trouble doing it on their own feels good. It’s a contribution that I can make freely.
Now I find myself further along this continuum with some recognizable signs.
I’ve always been better at following my inspirations than in writing on demand. (Another reason that I am not a professional.) Feeling a obligation to my blog – writing every day, or every week, or regularly is not enough impetus to glue me to my computer. I am finding it easier to remind myself that my blog is just that – mine. I am not obligated to write. And I know that those of you who have faithfully followed me through the years don’t really notice if I miss a week or two. And those of you who are looking for an idea or letter can find what they need or ask me for more.
So I am free to write or not to write.
And early in my writing years I learned what has been scientifically proven…if I share my ideas aloud, I have much less chance of writing them. I have given up protecting those ideas. Many times it is more fulfilling to have a conversation with those I love rather than to write a letter for posterity. After all, who cares about posterity or can guarantee its result?
I know that there will be times when I want to write to you, my family and friends. I will want to express my recognition of who you are to me in words that are deliberate and well-thought out. I’ll have ideas that sprout from my sleep and live through my meditation to be expanded on the page. And I will get on my high horse and ride my rants without anyone being able to stop me. I will always write – on this blog or another.
But I hereby release myself. to write when I feel inspired, to continue to write when I have time or inclination, and to give up all pretense of professionalism.
It feels good!
That is the best way to be!
My tryst with writing started through writing letters as a means of keeping in touch with my mother and siblings during days when we did not have the now ubiquitous telephones. I found that this also enabled me to spend some time in lonely hotel and railway waiting rooms during my traveling salesman days. My employers discovered that I could write good reports and that pushed me upwards at a much faster rate than most other colleagues of mine.
When I went to Business School after six years of working in the field, there was a course called WAC – Written Analysis of Cases and wonder of wonders I got As throughout!
Now I write for pleasure just as you do and that too when the mood takes me.
I use the phone more often to keep in touch with family and friends.
Like you, I use electronics much more often to communicate. Texting is the THING for my grandchildren and some of my children. When I write my actual “Letters to My Children” they are more often to mark an occasion than as a communication on any daily basis. And no matter how we do it…it communication is the key.
My writing comes and goes recently, tho. There seems to be so much happening – on the ground – that my thoughts that would normally lead to writing are more often set aside and must wait for the next opportunity for them to bubble to the fore. If they ever do.