Routes, Maps, Paths, or How I Got Here

There are many career paths with predetermined points along the way. Then there are some that don’t. The arts definitely have both kinds of paths.

The creative path tends to meander considerably, at least for me. Admittedly, coming off of nursing studies, with a straight forward check list and predetermined professional certification has been an adjustment. Writing was a distinct mental shift.

Learning to relax, get off the procedural focus and into the flow and ebbs of creativity, mostly it has been adjusting to the ebb has been tough. Going back to college helped some in learning how to best use those creative down times. Sometimes it has felt like being lost without a map, until a community of fellow writers shared their experiences, making me feel normal.

Many writers often uttered the cheer “WRITE!” Learning to write when there wasn’t inspiration was the biggest hurdle to clear. Just write. You can’t learn to edit yourself without something written. You can’t critique your own work, or have anyone else do it if you don’t have stories to work with. That’s the truth!

The quality really doesn’t matter. Anything practiced improves, same holds with writing. So it takes sitting and writing. Handwritten, typed, keyed on a computer, doesn’t matter, the production method, on the initial draft. Even if it is told out of order, misspelled, and grammatically incorrect.

Discovering a process that works for me to create the work has had its ups and downs. Looking back, my own efforts to push myself muddled the works. Now that the process is more or less lined out and some structure, some writing and illustrating are falling into place. It may very well mutate before long, doesn’t matter as long as it exists in some form.

The last three years have been an educational experience. Professionally and personally this has been subtle, “ah-ha!” moment. It seems to be a common experience writers all go through pursuing our dreams, learning about ourselves, as well as the skills that we need to fulfill them.

Once dreams begin to be fulfilled, what comes next is to dream BIGGER!

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