Welcome to Saturday’s Share – Reflections and impressions inspired by and celebrating images from daily life, to add a bit of sparkle to the weekend. Happy Saturday!
For today’s Share, I’ve got a couple of questions…
- What do you do, just for the sheer joy of it?
- How has that passion changed your life?
For me, it’s writing. I began when I was seven, but I’ve loved words all the way back to my crib.
For me, words and stories are like the air. They are always there, in my mind, ready to take flight.
When I was growing up, my writing was praised by teachers and parents- so long as it was done for school purposes. I found the praise pleasurable, and obliged by developing a knack for the purplest ofpurple prose . I was “an odd child”, and writing was a path to acceptance for me, and I indulged mightily.
Then, at thirteen, my life changed forever when my best friend, introduced me to (bludgeoned me with) Star Trek.
A half-Vulcan found his way into my soul, and hasn’t left since.
It was the early 80′s, and Star Trek was in a bit of a post The Motion Picture slump. As an already outcast teen, my new passion marked me indelibly as a geek – not, trust me, the cool version made popular by The Big Bang Theory, but the kind that, as one of my former classmates put it, “made it easy” for other kids to taunt and tease and torment.
But I couldn’t stop with Spock. I wouldn’t. He had me at “Fascinating”, and he is, as he said, a stubborn man.
So began years of clandestine writing activity. I exchanged spiral-bound notebooks with my friend throughout the day, for years. We committed character assassinations, logic implosions, and some physically impossible erotica fueled by hormones and an utter lack of actual experience (outcast, remember?).
It wad spectacularly bad writing. My parents saw me scribbling in notebooks while the drudgery of homework sat ignored, and demanded I stop. They had reasons:
- Homework was important .
- Star Trek was a stupid show.
- I was being lazy, wasting my time, not doing anything useful, just sitting around, and it was all just a pipe dream….
All good parental reasons, I suppose – except that they weren’t true. I did well in school, sans the homework. Because of Star Trek, I learned about Occam’s Razor, the Heisenberg Uncertainty Principle, and acceptance of those different than myself. I was figuring out my self and my place in the world. My passion for Shakespeare blossomed, and I became interested in scientific topics I’d never paid much attention to, before.
I was also learning to write. Too many cheats to make things happen the way I wanted them to led me to an understanding of writing fair, of leaving the characters space to breathe onto the page, and to allow them their own integrity. I look at my life today, and see that I allow the people in my life the same, so those notebooks may have done more than improve my writing – they may have improved my living.
That fan fiction also birthed a world for me to play in – the precursor of Aletris, the world my original fantasies are set in today. Without those years of furtive scribbling, I might not have that world, or the cultures that populate it. I might not have brought those clashing cultures together, or helped them to see that they didn’t need to give up their own ways and values to coexist peacefully with others.
There’s something else that’s translated into the rest of my life. Where I used to be certain that my way must be the right way, for everyone, now I focus on living my life as best I can, and offering others a glimpse into why it fulfills me – and I’m eager to learn how others live, what they value, and why.
For years, it looked like a frivolous way to spend hours of my life, every week. It looked, honestly, like a waste of time, paper, and ink.
But I was evolving, as I wrote, and becoming. Those words and stories were and are a catalyst in my life, and they are my personal history.
Over the next weeks, I will be revising the first of five completed first draft novels. Some are Trek fanfic – I could never turn my back on something that has given me so much and so deeply shaped who I am. The others are original, but they can trace their pedigree back to those same notebooks I carried from class to class all through junior high and high school.
Because I would not and could not stop, I have novels to edit, novels in progress, and more novels planned for the coming years. I have blogs with hundreds of posts, and people who enjoy reading them. Because I wrote so much, despite the arguments, I have more ideas today than I could ever set down on a page or a screen. I have friends scattered across the globe, because I wasn’t willing to sacrifice my passion to anyone else’s idea of what I ought to be doing instead.
Because I followed my pleasure, I am who I am today…as a writer, and as a human being.
How about you? Do you have a lifelong pleasure that’s shaped and enriched your life? Something you used to love, but set aside, and long to return to? What’s in your way?
I love to hear your stories! After all, Saturdays are for sharing!