Why I write

Karalee’s Post #129

lake reflectionMy writing productivity has gone up and down with my life’s rhythm. I don’t consider myself one of those born with a pen in hand, although my mother tells me that I was an insatiable talker from the moment I could form words. From that perspective, I’ve always had the need to express myself.

I was good in English at school and truly enjoyed reading and writing stories. I never thought of it as a passion or my life’s calling since my absolute goal after high school was to go to university and move out of the small town I grew up in. The big city excitement was an irresistible magnet and an expression of my independence.

Becoming a writer or storyteller didn’t suit those early expectations of mine. I enrolled in the science faculty which later lead to the medical faculty and a degree in Rehabilitation Medicine. I started my own physiotherapy practice and worked myself into exhaustion in the service industry.

It took a decade and I was burnt out.

Fortunately my husband and I were in a financial position that I could sell and take care of our three children. It was once the weight of being self-employed was lifted along with all the responsibilities it entailed that I took a deep breath. Almost instantly I knew it was time for me to write.

Where did that come from?

It didn’t surprise me in the least. It simply felt right.

So I set out to explore this new internal drive that seemed to be seeking me out. With the luxury of my children all in school I felt like I was in HEAVEN! Words tumbled out and my inner editor could hardly keep pace.

It was the closest I’d ever felt to euphoria.

Then that same year my husband, David, sold his software business. It sent my new and exciting routine into a completely unexpected direction as we decided to go on a family adventure on a sailboat in the Mediterranean. We planned to be away for one year.

One slid into two. The Mediterranean is a huge place with amazing history and people. Why rush back to Canada?

Did I continue to write?

Not at first.

ferry and windThe first year home schooling and traveling on our sailboat took every waking hour and many sleeping ones too as we made overnight passages. On a smallish scale map the Mediterranean can be covered by a mere thumb. On a sailboat it takes more than 24 hours to travel from the boot of Italy to Dubrovnik, Croatia. Three hour shifts while crossing the Adriatic Sea were more grueling and disrupting than midnight and early morning feedings with my three children when they were newborns. Falling asleep breastfeeding on a recliner didn’t have the same repercussions as falling asleep while under sail on a sea riddled with freighters and fishing boats.

At this time writing was not on my books so-to-speak.

Storms at sea followed by finding food on land to feed our family took all of our energy and was often overwhelming. Add in daily home-schooling and the thought of writing didn’t come to light for many months.

Don’t get me wrong, the experience was amazing for the family and we still reap the benefits of getting along and working together today. Although I had no energy to put words down, stories and my imagine were working away. Thank goodness for all the books on board as they were my sanity check and I read in short spurts before conking out at night.

The first year David taught Grade 5 and 7 to our two older children while I taught Grade 1 to our youngest. The second year we decided to share the responsibilities with me teaching one week and David the next.

On my “off” week the activity I craved to do was write. The calling was strong again and I had all day to write without any interruptions.

Pure bliss with bursts of euphoria again when I got deep in the zone with my characters and story.

That is why I write.

My productivity has been up and down with life interventions and sometimes I berate myself for not doing as much as I “should.” That’s when it’s a good time to reflect on how much I have achieved. I have spent hours learning the craft, taking courses, reading, going to conventions, learning about stuff I want to write about (aka research) and always without fail I return to put fingers to my keyboard and create a story from my imagination.

I have written three novels and a couple of handfuls of short stories.

I am proud of that.

Best of all, being in the zone when I write is where I love being. It is what keeps me coming back to writing like a junkie to drugs. Imaginations don’t age like our bodies and I will be able to continue writing as long as my brain and fingers allow. The process is like magic.

How lucky I am to have found a passion that is always there for me.

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Productivity: I have a third of my third story down on “paper.” It’s an emotional subject and I know it will pull me into the zone when I get writing this week.

Motivation:  I’m following The Miracle Morning by Hal Elrod. Great book to put into perspective what productive people do to get and stay in rhythm.

Happy Moments: 

  • My family was together to celebrate my birthday.
  • Unconditional love from my dogs greet me every day as I come and go from the house
  • feeling safe in my community in this chaotic world.

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Perspective Photos:

tree shadow

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

rope on post

 

 

 

 

 

 

Happy writing!

3 thoughts on “Why I write

  1. Agree Elizabeth! We all have different life stories that bring us to writing, but once we’re lucky enough to get in “the zone” we share that common euphoria. Another thing for me: I write to find out who I am, what I think, what I feel.

  2. I wish that the being in the zone thing happened more often for me, and at the same time I’m so pleased for you Karalee that you have found this, or it has found you. What a blessing. Writing for me varies from pure inspiration to pulling teeth. I just keep going through the pulling teeth stage until I get through it. If they’re not too gruesome I look forward to reading your stories!
    Alison

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