We all have to start somewhere, so this is where I begin—the blog, that is. The writing started a lo-o-o-ng time ago.
I’m a writer. That’s not just a chosen profession, it’s who I am. As a kid I “wrote”—all of it in my head, then spoken as I played all the characters in the “scripts.” As a teenager, I began putting pen to paper, but if any of those manuscripts ever surface I will deny any knowledge of them. Over the years I’ve written everything from radio commercials to service manuals, and most things in between. My favorites, of course, are the most creative types—the stories, the plays, the screenplays. The bottom line is: I have to write.
This is from our daughter’s blog: “I have a friend who recently shared the theory of the dragon with me. Her mother saw a therapist that explained that many creative people have an inner ‘dragon’ that needs to be nourished and fed on a continual basis. This therapist explained that many push off the desire to do creative things because they think of it as frivolous, unnecessary or simply something that can be done later, when there is more free time. Neglecting the dragon causes it to become restless and grumpy. But when we feed this dragon with artistic pursuits it is happy and content.” (http://wmdesignstudio.blogspot.com/search/label/feed%20the%20dragon)
I guess dragons run in the family—every one of us has at least one. And what glorious beasts they are! They are all very different—some bend toward art, design, photography, music, programming, media production, writing (there are more, but you get the idea). The fact that we all have them helps us to understand one another, and to recognize creative slumps and the depression that surrounds them as manifestations of noncreativity. That also means we know the cure, and can encourage one another to pick up the camera, the brush, the keyboard—whatever—to beat off the monsters.
On the other hand, those dragons are what drive us to achieve. If there were no fire built under us, what would we accomplish? The undying sparks that our dragons provide stoke the fires within and make us want to press forward. That’s how it is for me, anyway. If I go too long without creating something in some way…. Well, it would have been interesting a few years ago to install a pressure valve in my head and watch the steam build. It would start slowly—I’d just get a little dull. Then I would do an odd thing, which was basically nothing at all. Then I would do anything and everything—cleaning, laundry, moving furniture—all the things I felt I had to do and which I blamed for keeping me from writing or painting, and do them in an angry frenzy. Finally, I would explode into some artistic endeavor, and come out the other end of that smiling and excited about life again.
I suppose that process really hasn’t changed too much. I can still catch myself starting into that cycle. The difference now it that I am a writer full time, which oddly doesn’t mean that I get to sit down and write eight to ten hours a day; it means that there are less things that pull at me, and that I have a lot more time than I did before when I actually have the option of sitting down to write. Having the discipline to do that is what keeps the dragons off my back; letting the world get in the way still riles them. So if you call me in the middle of the day when I “ought to answer, because you’re just home now,” don’t be insulted if I let your call go to voice mail. The dragons are hungry!