“What do you call a writer who doesn’t write anymore?” I asked some friends not long ago. More than a question, it was plea, a cry for aid.  Nothing is coming out! Professional writers sit down and write anyway, opening a vein until they bleed onto the page, as Hemingway described it, and  I have not opened any veins lately. So far; 2014 as been the year of the big False Start. I’ve false started on 2 books, a language course, 2 diets, countless blogs, and even a foray into becoming a motorcycle rider. Am I still a writer or am I someone who used to write?

In truth: I’m too busy being happy to be an artist. Usually I write because I can’t help it. I am annoyed, disturbed, or otherwise inspired to get something on my computer screen, I used to HAVE to write.  Now I just go play in the garden with my grandchild like the retired Vito Corleone. Here’s an orange Grandpa! I’m too busy weeding to type, too busy running out to watch the garbage truck go by with little Luca to pound out a bunch of sit-ups, life is too full to lock myself in front of screen and write something about being a better artist, business owner, or investor. There is pruning to be done!

The motorcycle thing surprised me. I thought I always wanted to ride, I was drawn to the rumble, to the wind blowing through my hair,  to wearing leather accessories. It turns out I liked everything about riding a motorcycle except riding a motorcycle. A weekend of classes and two private lessons left me with this over-whelming truth: “Not so much.” I remembered that I like air-conditioning, a roof over my head and 4 wheels. I realized, in a moment of clarity that can only be categorized as inspiration: maneuvering 1,000 pounds of metal and gasoline through a Central Florida summer was not my dream. I’m not that guy after all.

I’m the guy who has grown to value his home, his garden, and most importantly, his family. I love my kids, my grandkids, and especially my wife. I am satisfied and that is something I’ve never allowed myself to say before. For the first time in my life, I don’t want more. I want now. Now, for me, is about peace, about having love in my life, and wanting what I have. As a financial guy and an entrepreneur, I’ve always been about the future, about planning, about driving hard for the future. The future is here, I’m living in it, and: it’s a pretty cool place. Life is more about maintenance than planning and acquisition and that’s new for me. Looking back, it’s amazing how many decisions I made came from wanting more, from wanting to be better, from wanting to be a success in the eyes of others. All that planning paid off.

I like it here.

I’m good now. Except: (there’s always an except), I need to fire up that writing mechanism that is in my heart, I am calling out to my Guardian Angel to help me find my next inspiration, to fall in love with words again. It’s always been about the words and I am writer in search of new stories to tell. They won’t be stories from the seat of a Harley, and they won’t be self help tales from a soul who wants more, but there will be stories, I know that.

I’ve been saying for a while now that if you don’t let your Creative Beast out, he will tunnel out, and mine is digging away, tapping on my heart and reminding me that I still have something to say even if I am not always sure what that is. I write to find out what I think, I write to figure things out, I write because it is fun. I write because creation is our natural state; we are made in the image of the greatest creator, and…

Sorry, got to go, there’s a big weed poking out between the stones on my patio.

4 Responses to The Year of False Starts

  • Jess Owen says:

    You’ve been an inspiration to me, so I hope to inspire you. I love the image of you as a retired Corleone ;D And it’s good to be happy.
    Here’s the thing about writing, as you’ll Remember when you read it: You will probably feel like writing about three days out of the year. The rest of the time you just have to write.

    I got pleasurably derailed by short stories this spring and lost the thread of my novel. It’s been (metaphorically) back-breaking work to get back into the flow. I started with journaling again in a notebook. Just good old-fashioned, stream-of-conscious, self-centered drivel. But it opened the way.

    If you haven’t read it, pick up a copy of Natalie Goldberg’s “Writing Down the Bones.” Get a cheap notebook, a fast-writing pen, go sit in your garden, and begin with the warm Florida sun on that weed between the patio stones.

    Good luck.

  • Kerry Dobry says:

    Hey….you wrote! :) I heard a great storyteller speak this weekend named Joel ben Izzy. A storyteller who went through a dark time of silence then found his way back into the light. His book is called The Beggar King and the Secret of Happiness. Ancient stories mixed with his own journey. Many highlights in his writing, but this stood out, “I’d had no great epiphany. But something had shifted inside me; I had crossed the line from confusion to bewilderment. It’s a nice feeling, bewilderment– the same confusion on the inside, but wrapped in a sense of wonder.”
    Now is good.
    Wonder is good.
    Wishing you and your family well.

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