"That's it. If I take one more step, it'll be the farthest from home I've ever been."
I'm discovering, this is what it means to be a writer.
While many focus on the introspection required to write and write well, I'm discovering that to write is to leave home, leave the familiar of one's own thoughts. Each thoughtfully-crafted piece of writing - be it prose, poetry, essay, fiction, non-fiction, etc. - each piece takes me further into the wild. After finishing one, I find myself contemplating where I am, what these surroundings are.
To identify as "a writer" is to accept a nomadic imagination. One that is never "home," only settling here or alighting there before taking off to explore the next place. It often means leaving people behind (or at least, characters who have become dear friends). I think it's why so many writers feel restless, the "hopeless wanderer" syndrome.
I think this is one of the reasons I feared becoming a writer for so long.
Being that we're at the half-way point of the year, I've been reviewing some of my journals and blog posts. And it struck me that I had no goal to "write more" this year or anything of the sort. It's just been a season where I can't. stop. writing. I've given up, waved the white flag, and surrendered. Yes, you were all right when you claimed me or labeled me as a writer. I was afraid, so I hid. But looking back at a full journal, blog posts, and draft posts I need more emotional distance from before publishing (or more courage... take your pick) - I see there's no more hiding it.
But what I've written thus far, the things I'm about to attempt, they've taken me on a journey far from what was comfortable. And if I take one more step, it'll be the farthest from home I've ever been. I'll have crossed into the unknown, unsettled territory of my consciousness.
Until the day when, like so many of our favorite characters, there is the final homecoming. "A far green country under a swift sunrise." The writer's journey proves its worth in it's memories and in the field of our imagination... but only when we cross the threshold to that home we never knew but were always searching for does the creator find their pearl of great price.
This is the hope I hold onto.