Waaay back in January, I wrote about giving ourselves Permission to Read and declared January Permission to Read month. In that same spirit of guilt-free pleasure, I now declare this my own personal Permission to Write year. Year, not month.
I read so many fabulous books (Permission to Read Month - How's it Going?) and great writing (not just during that month - what do you think I've been doing all February and March???) that I decided to honor a passion in myself that I have been holding back since graduating high school. I'm certainly not going to say how many years that has been, but suffice to say it's been a lot. I'm going to honor Twink, The Circus Monkey, my first book, of which I was inordinately proud, at age 7 (which my parents probably still have somewhere). I'm going to honor Mr. Dennis Houston, my sixth grade teacher, who wrote across the top of one of my essays, "You are a writer beyond all doubt." Perhaps unwisely, I'm going to honor all those angst-filled poems I wrote in high school. And I'm going to honor short stories and essays I've written that have won awards and been published, no matter how small the venue.
The flip side of what I honor is what I now choose to ignore. From this moment on, I will ignore Self-Doubt, who has taken up comfortable residency in my writing brain for decades. I'm sure he will still be there, feet propped up in a comfy pink cloud of my innermost thoughts, stuffing himself with Doritos and calling out snide remarks as I forge ahead. But I will now hear Self-Doubt's crumb-covered sneers, shut him out and move ahead.
In addition to those great books I read, I was inspired in no small part by turning mmrrfty years old this year and still not having seriously tried my secret heart's desire. I don't want another year of regret and wondering to go by. I was also inspired by author Ruta Sepetys, whom I met at a recent conference, which I will save for another blog post, and her question, "What is your story?"
I am still going to do my art and photography, but my focus will be on writing. Okay, yes I designed this gorgeous pillow a few days ago, but other than that....
I am currently happily engrossed in research for a historical fiction novel, pencil, highlighter, sticky notes and e-reader by my side, huge volumes in hand.