I am glad that of everything I have ever loved and lost, writing is one thing I’ve been able to reclaim time after time.
I was in a conversation with my business partner and a client a couple of days ago. Talking about writing – our client said she had always wanted to write once she turned 50. I said that I have always wanted to write. Our client said she wanted to write so she could earn lots of money from it. We looked at each other and my partner said she wanted to write so she could write.
Ridiculous? Of course we want to earn lots of money from writing! But what if we don’t, what if we do but suffer dry spells in between? Then what, will we then stop wanting to write.
I always quote my mum; she is amazing.
When I was 12, my brother was 22, she sat us both down and told us: Creative gifts are not the kind you can turn off when it’s inconvenient. They are not a part of you. They are you. Once you are born a painter or a writer or a musician, it reflects in everything you do.
You feel more; words have special kin with you when you are a writer, so their weight bears harder on you. Emotions come to you as music because musical notes and lyrical poetry are part of your thought processes when you are a musician. Colours and shapes have special meaning to you so every detail of landscape, environment, facial expressions and gestures are captured and eternalised in memory. It’s a blessing, but it can be a curse.
Once you accept the gift as yours, you can’t shirk it off when it becomes too heavy to bear. This is the reason my partner and I take writing as seriously as a matter of life and death. Art, writing is sacred to us. So sacred that our friends and associates are judged on the basis of how they carry their gifts in art.
When something is not part of you, you have no special obligation to guard it and honour it. You will use it as you wish because if it suits you, tomorrow you can flush it down the toilet.
That’s the difference between a true artist and a wannabe.
In other news, have you heard about NaNoWriMo? Check out the inundated Calender for related events and then sign up at http://NaNoWriMo.org Be sure to indicate that you are in the Africa:Kenya region for local support in writing a novel in 30 days!