Growing up I read books upon books. I'm a terrible skimmer. So it wasn't a detailed absorption, I just wanted the arch of the story, the feel. Because I had feelings associated with books, not visuals or detailed ideas about the characters, just a feeling that stuck with me.
I made up stories myself. Imaginary friends, dress up, stuffed animals all became parts of stories I told and played in the midst of.
And at times I fancied myself a writer. There was something mysterious about sitting and writing and creating. I liked the solitary aspect of it. Of putting something together.
I was an English major in college. But I didn't 'fit' in with the writing crowd. I can't spell for the life of me. I wasn't obsessed with words. Scrabble gave me panic attacks. I hadn't read all the 'cool' books. And I struggled with the classics, besides Shakespeare.
But writing has sort of fallen into my lap over the years. At times because it just felt necessary. It helps me formulate ideas and process. But I'm also an impatient actor. I don't like waiting for parts. And creating your own helps.
But writing is hard. As any skill is. There is this up and down sense to it. I can start off with an idea and feel that it is brilliant and I'm the worlds next genius writer. And then a week later I look at it and wonder what sort of drivel I've put on paper. And then I slog. Slog through the words and ideas hoping that it makes sense and some sort of story arrives.
You get better I'm told. Time and practice help you improve. But it's painfully slow. And at times embarrassing to look at earlier work.
But as an actor, creating my own work has been informative and freeing. Freeing in that I don't have to wait for someone else to give me a role. And helpful as I look at scripts and see a clearer sense of what makes a story work.
As most people probably find with the creative process, there is nothing romantic about it. It's a lot of hard work. But I do think there are moments of magic. Moments when you get a glimpse at beauty and the work is worth it. And maybe it's not the romanticism we are after but the passion. The willingness to feel deeply about something in life. It's scary. But perhaps I write because books have helped me feel. Stories have given me the space to work through feelings that are bigger than my body can hold.
So I write - so I can wrestle. So I can feel. So I can find the magic that is so easily forgotten in the midst of rushing through life. So I can remind myself that our very lives are a story being written and embodied. And in some small way, writing helps me tell a better story with my own life.
And so I'm writing and rewriting and putting words on paper. Working through stories as I work through my own story. Wrestling to understand. Wrestling to find the magic. Wrestling to understand more of what it means to live and breathe and be human on this earth.
I write to remember all the books I've read that reminded me that I'm not alone. That someone understands, that someone sees and feels what it means to be here on this earth. I write to listen to my own story and to hear more deeply the stories around me. I write because it helps me breathe deeper. And maybe just maybe, I like that writing projects mean that going to work doesn't require going anywhere - that I can crawl out of bed and type away on the porch still in my pajamas.