On Embracing Writing
Before I wanted to be a mother. A traveller. An actor. A teacher. A healer. Before I wanted to be anything at all, I wanted to be a writer.
This, I remember, was my first dream. But it was also more than a dream and less than a dream.
It was more than a dream because it was also my reality—I was a writer. I could write, well. Year after year, teachers would jot in my report card: Keep writing, keep writing, keep writing.
It was less than a dream because I never quite considered it an actual option, an attainable goal. I didn’t know any writers. I didn’t understand that people could actually make writing a career or even part of their daily adult life. It felt to me more like a mirage—something beautiful but untouchable, something that would disappear if I got too close.
Despite this, I kept writing. I have written before about my love of words, loss of words, and return to words.
I have woken up countless mornings with a deep, rumbling hunger for sitting in front of the blank page and making music with my fingertips. Tap tap tap. The sound of fingers tap dancing on the keyboard is my favourite sound in the world.
I have, through social media, made public my reinvigorated drive to write and felt lifted by the encouraging comments from friends and family who have, for years (if not decades), tried to guide me down the writing road.
And, yet, writing has continued to exist in the background of my life. It has continued to feel like a mirage, or like a distant place, gorgeous and remote (like Tahiti), where I simply cannot afford to travel to, let alone live in.
I write, but never very seriously. I write when the wind blows in the right direction. I write when an encounter or an experience or a film or a quote moves me to do so. I write like an amateur hockey player plays—I don’t train much, but I give it my all during a big game and, then, high off the rush of having done it and having done it well, I promise to start training, daily.
And, for the ten-thousandth time, I don’t.
But, something small but significant shifted for me shortly after my son, Felix, was born. I discovered, within myself, not only a desire to write more, but a deep-in-my-bones yearning to empty myself, daily, of the words clamouring for space inside of my already too-full heart. I realized, early on, that I could not hold on to all of those words and to all of that Love at the same time. I had to write, release, let go, make space.
This is how brave new mama was born.
I didn’t know I was writing a book. I just knew that I needed to scribble things down—often in the middle of the night—in order to create more space, inside, for the feelings. So I scribbled. And I scribbled. And I scribbled.
It was the closest thing to a writing practice I had ever had. And it felt like something special. It felt like coming home.
brave new mama is only a few weeks away from being released into the wide open world. It feels surreal and, at the same time, it feels like the most natural thing in the world. It feels like I've been waiting my whole life for this. I have been waiting my whole life for this.
It also feels like, with the release of this book, I am making a pivotal turn on my writing path. I am growing courageous enough to call myself a writer. I am committing, in a way I have never committed before, to a daily writing practice. I am launching a writing website (hi!).
I am also approaching the mirage and discovering that it isn’t a mirage at all, but an actual river—the river that has been carrying me my whole life and wants to carry me further and deeper, still.
And, this time, I'm saying yes, I'm choosing yes, I’m jumping in.
Into the words. Into the work. Into the dream that is no longer “more than a dream” or “less than a dream” but just a dream that, like all dreams, can (and will) be chiselled into my reality.