“The person born with a talent they are meant to use will find their greatest happiness in using it. ”
― Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
I don’t know how talented I am at anything, much less at being a writer. However, I do know that when I am writing, I cannot even begin to express to you how elated I feel, how happy, how calm and excited at the same time, how full of joy I am, how giddy, how child-like I get when I actually find the time to sit down and write anything creative. It’s like a kid in a candy store or tasting ice cream for the first time or a 3 year old at Christmas and Santa has brought her most asked for prize that she’s been wishing for all year and she doesn’t even notice the other presents beneath the tree. That’s the best way I can describe it. Besides that, I feel like I’m home. It’s part of me and who I am. Besides my family, it’s where my joy resides. Those are the only places I have found such a joy. With my two best girls (Mama and Hallie), my furballs and creating a story or a poem or any creative writing endeavor.
And when I haven’t had time to do any writing? Well, that’s where I find my darkness. It makes me feel trapped, imprisoned, lost, sad, depressed, anxious, mournful and just downright pissy. Just being honest. When you cannot do that one thing that brings you the most joy and happiness, in a creative sense, it bleeds you dry. Or it least it bled me dry.
For so long, all I could do was work, work, work and I’ve done pretty well fitting it all in around family time, which you know family is number one in my book (they always come first), but family and work didn’t leave any time for much else (writing, cleaning, sleeping…) and all work and no play makes Carol a dull girl. When I write on a regular basis, I find that about 30 minutes into the process (whether I have an idea in mind or am experiencing a block), I find my magical mojo and it’s like my imaginary friends wake up and talk to me again. They want to play. And then it’s like a movie plays in my head and my fingers simply cannot keep up with as fast as they are talking. That’s when my mini-cassette recorder comes into play. I’m old-school that way, I guess. I can talk faster than I type, but truly hate the sound of my own southern twang hick-like voice, no matter how many people claim it’s charming. I think not. But when I don’t get time to write, I fall into such despair. Maybe because suppressing my joy hushes the voices in my head and then I start missing my imaginary friends. I feel they’ve left me and I’m all alone in the world with only my miserable thoughts. I want my characters’ thoughts, too. I don’t wanna be all alone in there. It’s cold and dark with just little ole me.
So, in referencing the quote above, I totally get the greatest happiness part in doing that thing that you so long to do, but as for talent, I don’t put too much thought, for I believe talent is in the eye of the beholder and all I care about is being in that place of joy and doing that thing that makes me feel whole. And though the whole writing thing is something I do alone, I never feel lonely, for all my friends visit me in that place and we have great, great fun together.
Another quote I love by the brilliant von Goethe is “Whatever you do, or dream you can, begin it. Boldness has genius and power and magic in it.” I’ll leave you with that.
How do you feel when you are unable to do that one thing you love most? Can you put into words how you feel when you are doing that thing you love most? And do you care if you have talent in it, or not? Or do you care more about just doing that thing, because you feel a part of your soul is missing without it?