Why do you write? I’m often asked that. The context is usually this: why, when you’re a trained teacher and translator and spent years learning to be a certified life coach, do you now seem to spend every free moment you have writing instead of earning?
Speech makes me sound so lame. Out they come, the stock answers.
I can’t not.
It makes me feel good.
I’ve done it all my life.
It makes me feel like I was born to do it.
It’s how I support people and contribute.
It brings together everything I am and everything I’ve ever done.
And then they hit me with the money blow. But it doesn’t feed the kids or give your husband much support, does it? At that point I simply smile and ask if they want more coffee.
My husband and children are, quite simply, my heart and soul. My reason for being here. With people who believe that making money for its own sake is the only reason worth getting out of bed and working hard every day, there’s no point trying to explain how proud my husband and kids are of what I’ve achieved, the challenges I’ve overcome; no point trying to explain how writing helps me recreate every precious moment I have with my loved ones; no point struggling to explain that I do earn a little from my writing, just not enough to call myself a professional. I don’t explain how coaching and writing brought me back from what was probably low grade chronic depression caused by a previously undiagnosed medical condition. Many people didn’t even realise I was down.
Yesterday, while I was uploading and archiving my old coaching articles into this blog, I kept coming across lines, fragments expressing my thoughts on writing. They say so much more than I can when I speak.
(From The Sound of Music)
I sang my way around Europe when I worked as a language teacher and translator; my voice was a vital part of who I was and what I did. After I had my kids, I moved back to Scotland and slowly, imperceptibly, I stopped writing, stopped singing, stopped playing the guitar and even stopped speaking the foreign languages I was fluent in. Silence gently settled around my soul like snow.
When I drifted into life coaching, on my journey out of what I now realise was low grade chronic depression, my passion to tell the whole world about it bubbled up, spilled over and finally gushed out in the torrent that helped me rediscover my voice…
…Well, Maria never did make it as a nun, although, thanks to her Mother Superior’s glorious rendition of “Climb every mountain”, she got the handsome husband, the home full of happy kids and found her dream. Am I glad to have my voice back, a spirited, life loving, world worshipping voice? Oh yes. Oh, dear God, YES!!!
(From Saving more than Money)
Ideas flit in and out of my mind like small birds; if I don’t capture their fleeting presence in a note or a sketch, they take off, no doubt to bring flashes of colour, pleasure and inspiration to someone more receptive.
When I write, it helps me to become mindful and aware, to be still and silent enough to see everything, every detail, every sensation as meaningful. My life becomes one big haiku. When I put down my pen and get ready to focus on the shopping, I usually start my week feeling lucky to have a family to shop for, the money to feed them and the time and means to cook healthy meals.
(From Treasure Hunting)
Some moments of clarity or emotion are so powerful they brim up and overflow and make me feel that if I don’t channel them into words, control them and create something from them that I will drown or that something very precious, something vital will be washed away and lost. When I sit down to recreate those moments, I feel like my whole life, everything I know and everything I am is a prism being used to refract the light of a message coming, quite simply, from somewhere else.
When I coach well, I feel the same connection.
Know then, that if anything I ever write affects, moves, touches or supports you, it was meant for you, sent from somewhere that neither of us can fully comprehend. I’m happy to be the messenger.
The inspiring feedback I get from coaching colleagues and friends every month about my articles, the support I received from my first guest post at Write to Done yesterday and from this blog’s first ever comments made me feel like I’m not wasting my time, like I’m meant to be doing this.
What do you do that makes you feel like the talents you were born with have found their voice, their place in the world? What makes you feel like you’re in the flow and have finally found your bliss?