Wild Words: Embrace Your Calling as a Writer
There is a poem, Morning, by Mary Oliver, where she observes the most ordinary of moments. Her cat stretches, laps a bowl, sits in the grass. The day is plain, unexceptional.
One might assume nothing transcendent will happen, but these daily rituals stir her voice. She asks, what more could I do with wild words?
This is where we write, in the midst of our predictable days.
There will be adventures, certainly, and unexpected loves and losses. But day after day, our wild words beckon from the most familiar places: the kitchen table, middle of the night feedings, a commute.
@@Writing is simply there, like the air we breathe.@@
Your Origin Story
Somewhere along the way, you took a pen to paper. You read a book voraciously. You understood words had meaning.
You are a writer. It was your first instinct.
But if you are a writer, someone most likely said you cannot do this. You should not do it. Writing is nice, a way to explore your feelings because life is oh so dramatic.
Someone once said your words were not worthy.
You may have forgotten. You may have buried it in the deepest corner of your heart. You may not believe it.
But our writing memories, however long ago, inform how we write today.
So we have a choice to make. We can confront our origins, own our story, or turn from it. The former, it should be noted, will provide spaciousness, an openness accessed by some miracle.
It helps to remember some good memories.
When did you start writing? Did you have a teacher who believed in you? Did you dream of writing a book? Were you ever moved to tears by words?
But do not discount the value of difficult memories.
Did someone tell you writing wasn’t a real path? Were your stories rejected by literary journals? Did you keep the rejection slips? Did you feel guilty for wanting to pursue your craft?
Sit with yourself. Reflect on the person you used to be, and who you have grown into. Don’t try to force anything. Instead, let the memories appear over time, when they’re ready. When you’re ready. Then, stitch them together into your beautiful origin story.
Believe that no matter what you’ve encountered so far, you are a writer and always will be.
The Nourished Writer
Now, you must begin taking care of yourself.
Because writing is a vocation, a lifetime pursuit. It’s a practice that stays with you, evolves with you, and nourishes you.
But you need to do the work, and in today’s fast-paced world and the busy lives we lead, activities that nurture us are often brushed aside.
The problem with this is the itch to write remains. Our bodies need to stretch, our fingers need to type. We need to sit, pause, think.
Writing will fit however you make it fit.
And your soul will tell you what to do, which direction to go. Listen close.
This place of confidence, contentment, and peace, is the best anchor for our writing.
Here’s the truth: I can’t do my best creative work when I’m not taking care of myself.
When I’m worried about what everyone else is doing, when I fall down a rabbit hole of keyword research or content upgrades, I’m draining my energy.
It doesn’t mean we should never consider these things. We should, and we must. But it also means embracing slow writing, setting realistic goals, not trying to keep up, maintaining fewer projects, and paying less attention to everyone else’s pace.
It means nurturing your body, mind, and spirit, and channeling this wellness into the writing projects that feel the best, that support your lifestyle, and help you reach your deepest goals as a writer, not superficial ‘should.’
This is the mindset from which I address you, and why we gather in the Wild Words Collective. We're a group of big hearted, multi-passionate writers. We are mothers and career builders and caregivers and leaders and feelers of all the feels.
@@We have a light inside that won't burn out.@@
This is a space to consider wellness, mindfulness, and creativity within the context of our writing lives.
This is a nudge.
A tap on the heart.
A gentle reminder to not abandon the instinct inside of you, and to call out, every day, your wild words.