Okay, I know it sounds corny and cutesy (either that or my speller’s busted) but bear with me just one minute while I share my most recent epiphany about the writing life.

I was returning home from a visit to my beloved but abandoned Home and Native Land, and finally had the opportunity to think about writing after days of intense visiting with relatives, nights sleeping in a tent during a prolonged and determined rain storm, and long hours of driving solo across the inspiring (cough) plains of Alberta.

Sitting in my somewhat dingy but delightfully clean and friendly motel room in the little town of Longview, Alberta, I pulled out my journal and started cleaning out the backlog in my brain, built up to the pressure point over several days of never being alone.  And one of the things that came to me during an extremely therapeutic writing session was the following musing on what it means to be a writer, which I share with you here because, hey – what else is a Blog for? 

Writers write.  It’s not so much something they do, as something they are.  Like the title of a book I saw somewhere – God is a Verb.  Well, I believe that Writer is also a Verb.

As a point of illustration, consider a bee.  You don’t waste a lot of time trying to identify the creature – you know it’s a bee because it flies, it’s shaped like a bee, and it buzzes around flowers and stings people when they interrupt it in its business.  You don’t stand there looking at the bee working away in the clover and say, “show me the honey, you little impostor!”

 

You just take it for granted that if it looks like a bee and sounds like a bee, it is a bee, and the honey is somewhere.

 

Now, if a bee were to start the same sort of messed up thinking that I’m so often guilty of, it might go something like this:

 

“Wait a minute, wait a minute… wasn’t I making clover honey?  Seems like that’s how I started out.  But this is an alfalfa field.  I can’t go back to the hive with this – it will ruin the honey; the other bees will laugh at me, they’ll never accept this… but there is no way to get it off me now, I’m covered in Alfalfa pollen.  That’s it.  I’m done for. I can never go back to the hive…”

 

And the poor confused and bewildered alfalfa laden bee finds a cold and lonely flower on which to sit idle until she succumbs to cold, hunger, and separation from the life of the hive.  Which is obviously ridiculous, and no bee in a reasonable state of sanity would behave this way. 

The obvious analogy is to stop worrying about whether or not you’re a writer and write.  Things will get written if you are a writer, as inevitably as honey will get made if you’re a bee.

Of course, whether you can sell the honey or not, is another question entirely…

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