There’s a line in Sister Act 2, where Whoopi Goldberg’s character calls out one of the students on her desire to sing:
I know you want to sing. See. I love to sing. Nothing makes me happier.I either wanted to be a singer or the head of the Ice Capades. Hey. Do you know who the Ice Capades are? Don’t roll your eyes. They were very cool. I went to my mother who gave me this book…called Letters To A Young Poet. Rainer Maria Rilke. He’s a fabulous writer. A fellow used to write to him and say: “I want to be a writer. Please read my stuff.” And Rilke says to this guy: “Don’t ask me about being a writer. lf when you wake up in the morning you can think of nothing but writing…then you’re a writer.”
That has stuck with me forever–ever since the first time I heard it because it fits me. I am a writer because it’s all I think about morning, noon and night. I go to sleep and I dream about my stories, I wake up wanting to write them and I go through the day discovering new tales whether it’s in a snippet of dialogue, a person I see walking down the street, a tattoo–or a song lyric. They are every where all around me and sometimes I think I’ll get whiplash because I’m straining my head around trying to catch all the tales before they get away.
I don’t always remember the sheer joy I take from writing when I am on multiple deadlines, or juggling dozens of edits or trying to catch up with my crit partners (because dude, I can be a lousy one at times too busy to get to read their stuff). But this week, I took a few days off from writing. Told myself I needed it because my brain hurt..literally hurt and felt bruised.
I’ve been reading for my crit partners over the last few days, catching up on my to do list, reading books by other authors and remembering–rediscovering that sheer joy in the written word again. It’s the good and the bad in the life of this author. And today, I was reminded of that magic moment–the real magic in why I write, when I had to tell someone shh, I’m reading–what tickled me, is that I was telling the person whose book I was reading to hush.
I wanted to read what they had WRITTEN.
Definitely of the good in the life of this author.