This week I got to read a piece of my writing to people for the first time ever. I was so nervous that I felt like laughing, plus I found my writing very funny, and then felt embarrassed because they say it's not cool to laugh at your own jokes. Other than that it was a very neat experience. The coolest part was hearing the discussion of my story after I read it. The class was examining my characters and their lives as if they really exist, and debating whether their thoughts and actions made them likeable or unlikeable. I felt like something I made was coming to life. Something I built in the factory of my mind became a real, breathing thing.
I've been a person who thinks about writing a lot more than actually writing for a long, long time. I fantasize about being a writer, and I come up with these brilliant sentences, but they never turn into anything. I've been a writer in my mind, a paradox that can only be undone by physically writing. And not just writing about my day, but writing out of the comfort of everyday thoughts. Writing into a new place that is unfamiliar, full of new thoughts.
It became apparent to me during the class discussion that pieces of my subconscious had found their way into my story. Things that I wrestle with, things that are unresolved, ideas that need to be challenged. I never intended it, I just wanted to write something that was worth reading. I see how writing can really shine a light on my unexamined shadows, and how becoming aware of them actually helps me step more fully into my light.
I feel a renewed passion for writing. I feel more like a beginner than ever, but it's far superior to just being a writer in my head.