“Fill your paper with the breathings of your heart.”
So there’s this piece of flair on facebook that says “I write, therefore I am.” It is, of course, modeled after the famous “I think, therefore I am.” What made me start thinking about that quote today, I have no idea … but it’s been awhile since I’ve written a new blog entry, so I figured I’d go with it. To me, the essence of that quote deals with identity. Who are we? Who do we want to be? Who do we want to be seen as? For me, the answers to those questions are clear – for the most part. Who do I want to be? I want to be someone who’s blessed enough to do what she loves as a career. I want to be a novelist. Who do I want to be seen as? I want to be seen as someone who followed her star path, so to speak. I want to be seen as someone who never gave up on her dreams, no matter what. I want to be seen as someone whose passion is writing. I’ve always believed that journalists can change the world, one story at a time. I lost count of how many times I’ve said that … and that is always the kind of journalist I hoped I could be one day. I’m also of the belief that authors can change the world, one story at a time. Sure, it may not be the same type of story that a journalist tells, but it’s still a story and it still has the power to make an impact. How many of us have gotten lost in a novel? How many of us have immersed ourselves in a book and used our imaginations to really try to see what the characters were seeing, feel what they were feeling? To me, that’s the magic of writing. When I write, I envision every scene. I go on that journey with the characters. I do my very best to paint a picture with words. My own favorite authors do just that, and it’s a quality I so respect and admire. It’s a wonderful feeling to get lost in a book. That’s the kind of author I hope to be one day, someone who can create that feeling. Because one person CAN make a difference. Authors CAN and DO make differences. They DO have an impact on people’s lives through the words they write and the stories they share. I can only imagine how that must feel. It has to be the greatest feeling in the world, one that you can’t even put into words. That’s the kind of author I dream of being. That’s the kind of person I dream of being seen as – someone who was able to make a difference, even if in just a small way.
But who am I? That’s a question that doesn’t have a clear-cut answer. I guess the best way to sum it up would be to say that I’m me (I know, that was incredibly descriptive, wasn’t it?). I’m many things. I’m a daughter, a sister, a granddaughter, and a niece. I’m someone who dreams of being a wife and mother one day. I’m a dreamer, a hoper, a believer, and an optimist. I’m someone who believes that if you dream big and work hard, anything is possible. I’m someone who gets discouraged at times, but refuses to let that rule my life. I’m someone who sometimes gets lost in the clouds, but always remembers to look for the sun. I’m someone who loves journalism. I’m someone whose passion is writing. I’m an aspiring novelist who won’t stop working until I turn my dream into a reality. There are lots of qualities that define me – too many to list – and writing is at the very top of that list. Writing is who I am. It’s what I do. It defines me. It’s part of my identity, and I’m so grateful for that. So who am I? I’m me.
Who are you? What defines you? Who do you want to be seen as? Who do you want to be? What inspires you every day? Who inspires you every day? What makes you who you are and who you hope to be?
Whoever you are, wherever you go, you should go with all your heart. I read a quote several years ago that suggested just that, and I fell in love with it immediately. Whoever you are, no matter what your dreams, you should never give up on them. You should keep persisting until the day you can give the answer you’ve been dreaming of when someone asks you who you are. You should follow your heart, because it will never steer you wrong. For me, following my heart means continuing on this quest to get my novels published. I refuse to stop, no matter how long it takes, no matter how many query letters I have to send out, and no matter how discouraging it can seem at times. Because writing is who I am. That’s the only way I can describe it. It’s not just that it’s a part of me, it’s that it’s a very special, very important part of me. It’s what excites me, what I look forward to. It’s the idea that pops into my head that makes me so eager to write that I can barely wait for my laptop to come out of sleep mode. It’s the idea that pops into my head when I’m at a family dinner that I’m so excited about that I just have to jot down notes on a notepad while everyone else is eating(been there, done that, only got a few strange looks :P ). It’s the fact that I’m now 126 pages into my third book and I’m still just as excited about writing and about the characters as I was when I wrote the first word of the first book. It’s the fact that I couldn’t stop writing if I tried. Writing is a work of heart for me. It’s who I am, and I couldn’t be happier about that.
This William Wordsworth quote has been one of my very favorites since the first time I read it. Because, for me, writing is the breathing of my heart. I love it more than I can explain. I truly believe that we incorporate a little bit of ourselves into everything we do — and when we put our heart into what we do, that’s when our identity shines through. That’s how we go from creating a product to creating a piece of ourselves. For me, every time I sit down to write, I’m filling my paper (umm … make that Word document) with the breathings of my heart – filling it with what I believe in, what I dream of, what I hold in my heart. Because really, how better can we define ourselves than by what we hold within us? How better can we define who we are than by what we hold in our hearts?