In my 20s, I was a writer in grad school, working towards an MFA in creative writing, living and breathing, or so I thought, my art. I felt bad for older people who'd lost their way, especially those who dug into their old treasure chests to recover past glories and said, "I used to do this."
I never imagined I'd be one of them -- one of those who ended up sacrificing a passion for a job. What I didn't know then was that sacrifice can come easily, and that it's not always about trading art for a paycheck. Sometimes, you just fall for something else and neglect something you promised never to leave behind.
I love the work I've been doing and I've always felt that it afforded me enough creativity. As someone who creates learning materials, I am still writing. People are still reading what I write; in fact, to be honest, often with more attention. It is a new passion, and there have been many moments that I feel lucky that I am being paid to do something I enjoy so much.
However, I'm leaving my 30s soon and I've realized that even if I have a new affair, my old love refuses to be forgotten. In fact, I find myself thinking about creative writing more and more often.
If I were to dig into my old treasure chest, my "glory days" would probably be the time I was writing for newspapers and magazines and made very little money. I don't think I've ever explored how far I would go as a fiction writer. I didn't do workshops because I focused on earning soon after I graduated from college. I think I submitted a story once to Junior Inquirer and it was published, but that was it.
I had a dream recently, and if you've been reading all my entries, you might have seen it posted here before I deleted it. I've processed that dream since, and I suspect it's about my first love coming back to me.
Before I write about the dream, let me just say that I'm a big fan of BBC's Sherlock, especially the earlier episodes. In fact, it was because of Sherlock that I discovered Doctor Who and now I'm even a bigger fan of Doctor Who.
Anyway, in that dream, I was leaving Martin Freeman/Watson for his best friend, whom I liked before I got together with Martin. It wasn't Benedict Cumberbatch/Sherlock, and maybe it wasn't him because that dream was about going back to something I loved first without completely leaving behind someone/something I had also come to love. (With Benedict, I suspect, there would be no looking back.) A lot happened in the dream, but the prevailing feeling was that of me questioning my decisions and digesting the truth of the statement "It has always been you."
We were in high school in that dream. I was in high school when I discovered I loved words.
So, about Morning Pages. It's a tool that The Artist's Way espouses to help nurture creativity. It's basically a free writing exercise where you don't censor yourself and just write whatever comes to mind for three pages.
Like I said, I haven't read The Artist's Way yet, but I have read articles by people who've found doing Morning Pages helpful. I needed a writing habit outside of this blog, and since I don't really keep a diary, I decided to go for structure one and try doing Morning Pages.
I'm on Day 12 of daily writing and while I still have some entries where I write "I don't know what else to write," I'm finding that my mind is clearer about the things I want to do: like, I do want to work full-time a build a career in learning and development, but I also want to be a creative writer at my own pace.
If I write a single story that touches a few lives, I'd be grateful. I mean, a lot of the artists I love, I love only for one singularly stellar work.
I think I'd be fine with being that for a few people.
I've found myself remembering details -- like my previous entry -- and meaningful memories that somehow shaped my life. Maybe they'll find their way into my short stories one day.
No, scratch that -- I'm pretty sure they will find their way into my short stories one day, soon.