Being Bruce -: Writing When You Have No Choice

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Writing When You Have No Choice


OK, so maybe the title for this post is a teeny bit misleading. Of course we have a choice. If we didn't want to write we wouldn't have to. Unlike an automatic body function, like, say breathing, we can't consciously control whether we breathe or not - we can hold our breath for a while, but if we hold it long enough and pass out, we'll start to breathe again. Few of us write in our sleep (I wanted to say "No one", but some might beg to differ). So, yeah, we have a choice.

It just doesn't seem that way.

I have the tremendous good fortune to be married to Marge Brown. There are many reasons why she's a perfect match, not least is our shared need to write.

So maybe that's a better way to describe the urge, the compulsion, the draw to write. Perhaps a better title for this post would have been "Writing Because You Need To"? What do you think?

It seems to me this urge, desire, obsession, whatever-you-call-it to write is something you have or don't have and if someone doesn't have it, it's not part of their reality and may not even make sense.

But Marge and I each have the need to write and we're stuck with it. We accept that writing is part of who we are as individuals and as a couple so we choose to enjoy it and indulge ourselves to satisfy the inner pressure that builds when one of us doesn't write.

In my case this need to write didn't become part of who I am until my mid thirties. I'd always been an avid reader and in college I majored in English. My first career after my undergraduate years was as a teacher of English in a high school. So of course I wrote, but there was no big draw for me. I wrote because I could and I had to, first as required during my education and latter by my job.

But something happened when I was 34 or 35 that started me and it was like I suddenly was turned on to writing. It's as if I turned a corner in time and around that corner was a new me who wrote quickly and easily and enjoyed most every minute of it.

I'm still around the same corner and will never turn back. For me writing is just part of who I am. I write email, blog posts, social media messages, short books, longer books, jokes, inspirational pieces and even short notes of encouragement. While my main work is being a health and fitness coach, I seek opportunities to write within that context and I also continue to write self help how-to books and personal development works. It's a business, yes, but it's fun!

So really, as I hope you can tell, I have no choice.

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