I ran across a quote the other day that really resonates with me, and I think it might be meaningful for you, too:
“To keep bearing fruit, one must keep returning, humbly, to the blank page, to the uncertainty of the writing process, and not pay much heed to the ‘noted author’ the world wants you to be.”
– Kathleen Norris
My twin sister Lea and I have talked a lot in the past about that horrible word “potential,” and how it can often be more of a weight than a vision that spurs us on. Sometimes I don’t write because I don’t think I will ever be the ‘noted author’ the world expects me to be.
I had a weird thing happen the other day. Lea, do you remember Mrs. Schulte from 7th grade English? I don’t, really, but apparently she was our student teacher. She also went to school with Mom, and now she’s a teacher somewhere in Missouri. Anyway, she looked me up on MySpace. Apparently, you, me, and Johanna are the only students she remembers from Harrison because she thought we had such potential. I haven’t messaged her back yet because I want something really great and brilliant to tell her, and I haven’t come up with anything yet.
And, last Tuesday I had a pastors’ wives’ lunch in Little Rock, which was really great because I got to have coffee with my brother Joel afterwards. But it was weird, because at the end one of the wives asked me how my writing is coming. And I think she must be the only person who remembers that I’m a writer, and it was cool of her to ask. But I had to tell her that I haven’t written anything in a long time because whenever I have a spare minute of time when I’m not supposed to be doing something, I just want to sleep. And that made me sad a little.
So, here I am writing, and I encourage you all to do the same. We need our art, and it’s no good to put it on the back burner. After all, how are we supposed to become the ‘noted authors’ the world expects us to be if we’re not writing?
Great Kathleen Norris quote ~ thanks for the encouragement. I found your blog through the Whole Life website… or vice versa… I can’t remember. Regardless, I enjoy them both. Keep up the writing!
Thanks, Kimberly! I appreciate your encouragement! I’m not as consistent as I’d like to be, but writing is always an on-going work in progress. Are you a writer as well?
Ha – only on my good days! I blog & I write for a couple webzines, but my great american novel has been sitting in a holding pattern since November. Katy Bowser wrote on her blog sometime last year that some days are for writing, and some days are for living what you’ll write about (or something along those lines). It’s a difficult balance between the two…