THE WRITING LIFE
by Betsy Seeton
Some theologians believe all people are born with a calling in life. I don't know if that's true, but I have known people who very early in their lives knew who they wanted to be and what they wanted to do. These people, the ones who possess an innate sense of direction, seem to come with an internal, almost predestined road map.
For others, like me, the calling - if that's how you think of it - is often buried deep inside. Sometimes I think only the lucky ones ever find it. To me, it was not about finding my calling, but finding my passion. I believe if home is where the heart is, life is where the passion is. And a life without passion is like a body without a soul.
It wasn't until mid-life that I found writing to be one of my passions. Long ago I had put the dream of being a writer in one of those proverbial 'someday' files. I loved writing since I was a child (preferring essay exams to multiple choice any day), but I didn't know the place it held in my heart until my world was turned upside down when my 18 year marriage crumbled. It was then that writing emerged, first as a life-boat, and later as the centerpiece of my life.
Being passionate about something brings uncommon clarity to thought, depth and charge to emotion, and inextinguishable energy to action. And there's nothing like passion to profoundly shift one's paradigm. This shift has opened up another dimension in time where the dread of Mondays has been plucked away and the early morning hours no longer reviled. Time is full of hope and when the words flow just right, even a little bit of magic.
Writing taps into a place so deep inside me that when the words surface they sometimes bypass my mind and go straight to my fingertips. It's a curious experience. It's as though I'm reading the words on my screen for the very first time as if someone else were the author. It can have that seeing the Grand Canyon for the first time feeling.
It's been said a picture is worth a thousand words. I think well chosen words, in well-worded prose, can paint a thousand pictures. The best writers (and artists) ignite and feed a part of us that otherwise lies cold and wanting. This fire and feast puts the living in life. I love the whole life of writing; the process as much as the product.