"It's a dangerous business going out your door.
If you don't keep your feet there's no knowing where you might be swept off to." ~ Bilbo Baggins
The first thing I remember wanting to do was write. When I was a little girl, I went through all manner of "When I grow up" statements: a doctor, a dentist, an ophthalmologist. I was the weird kid in fifth grade who posted on the "When I Grow Up" board a piece of paper that said PALEONTOLOGIST. It hovered like ectoplasm amongst other cardboard signs that said DOCTOR, LAWYER, TEACHER, FIREMAN. I didn't think to say WRITER because, well, I was already one of those.
Funny the wisdom we have as children. I never told anyone I wanted to be a writer because in my mind I already was. I wrote. I wrote and illustrated stories, travel journals. I created my own catalogue for a fictitious superstore that sold everything. Like a mall but one one store under one roof.
(Dear Wal-Mart and Super Target, you owe me)
Then I grew up and I grew dumb.
"I want to be a writer!" I screamed. Yes, yes, they patronized, but what do you want to DO? Write. Duh. No one heard. So I decided I'd go away to school and become that paleontologist. Then peer pressure got in the way. I grew dumber. I went to a local college and still, still I wanted to write.
Dancers dance because they hear the music inside them. They don't wait for a title over their door or a copper plate on their desk. They sway when the mood hits them and they twirl around puppies and children on linoleum floors. Maybe they become ballerinas or teach ballroom dancing to seniors. Perhaps they dance principle with the Moscow ballet or win Dancing With the Stars. Or maybe they dance with their partner on that old linoleum until it fades from black to grey and one day they're old and again dance alone. Still, they dance without a paycheck for it.
They dance because they are dancers. They are dancers because they dance.
Could it be that I AM a writer because I write? That I write because I'm a writer? Instead of looking in the mirror and saying, "I want to be a writer!" perhaps we should look in the mirror and say, "I write therefore I am."
What music do you hear inside you? What story does it sing? Do you dance on linoleum simply because your soul gives you no option? Do your fingers dance across the page for the same reason?