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What Role Does Writing Play in Your Life?

Yesterday I was catching up on my Tivo-ed Oprahs (yes, I live an exciting life) and I caught the interview with Stephanie Meyer. Oprah asked her what made her start writing Twilight. Stephanie said that she had three kids who were difficult babies--none of them slept through the night until past two--and that she had gotten burnt out and gone into zombie mom mode. So when she had her now famous dream, she decided to write it down. And writing became her way back to herself to discover the person she was and not just the mom/wife/etc.

The interview goes on and I've included the first part below, but I have to say the interview really struck home for me. This could be because my two year old has gone back to not sleeping through the night and has always been a bad sleeper, so I'm feeling a little burnt out myself.

But I realized that writing provides me the same thing that it did Stephanie Meyer--a connection with the person I am underneath all the roles I have. To remind me that I am more than the diaper changer, cook, wife, etc. And honestly, if I didn't have that outlet, I probably would have escaped back to work by now because even though I adore being home with my son, without any other mental challenge, I would have climbed the walls by now.

So that's what writing has done for me. Me and Stephanie Meyer aren't so different. (Well except for that whole writing a novel that captured millions and being filthy rich and famous thing, but I'm working on it.)

So what does writing do for you? What made you start typing or writing on that blank page? How would your life be different if you didn't have writing in your life?

**Today's Theme Song**
"The Sweet Escape"-- Gwen Stefani
(player in sidebar, take a listen)

Reader Comments (32)

I started out writing thinking I'd write a screenplay. (Which was really all just a cockamamie scheme to meet a celebrity I had a crush on.)

But the first thought I had about writing was "I could do that." And I haven't looked back since.

I don't know what my life would be without writing in it. I'd maybe be in the looney bin to deal with all the voices in my head.

November 17, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterStephanie L. McGee

I can totally relate with you (and Stephenie). I have little kids and writing is a my one time to be me and not cleaning, nurturing, messy mommy. I love being a mom (I love it much more than I love writing), but I think It's important to have some sort of outlet. Writing fits that bill right now.

November 17, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterNatalie

My husband and I used to drive from Michigan to Kansas City rather frequently. For the first half of the 16-hour trip, I would dream up a story, and then on that endless strip of I70, between St. Louis and KC, (usually the wee hours of the morning), I would keep my husband awake by sharing what I dreamt up. He always said, ‘You should write that down.’ So I did.

One of the best things about writing is that it keeps my anxiety levels down, but it does feed my obsessive nature. It’s a trade off.

November 17, 2009 | Unregistered Commenterjbchicoine

One of the things I got a kick out of when I started volunteering for a local writers' community was that I got to be an adult again. People knew me as Dawn the writer instead of just as Jim's wife or as someone's mom. Honestly, wife and Mom are my most important roles, but's so important too. It feels like "me".

November 17, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterDawn Simon

I've been writing since I was fourteen. I've always been a dreamer, but I didn't actually think to write any of them down until I was a teenager. I stopped for a long time. I've kicked a couple of stories around since then, but I didn't get really serious about it again until last August. I had not realized how much I enjoyed it and what a wonderful stress reliever it was. I don't know what I would do if I couldn't write.

November 17, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterTina Lynn

I'm in the same boat-- I started writing to reclaim ME after I had my son, although I didn't know it at the time. Writing encapsulated my hopes, my desires, my wishes--and this is so important after you've had a baby and you've spent a year covered in breastmilk vomit and are discovering your new body and new set of emotions. After I had my son, everything changed about who I am, physically and mentally, and who I wanted to be. Writing helps process that for me.

November 17, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterSierra Godfrey

An expression of self and my need to create things - or that was how it started out. It probably still is, but it's easiest to say it's my habit and escape from the real world. Some people crave chocolate. I crave my computer screen with my words typing madly across. <- And yes, I'm aware that makes me sound weird. :P

November 17, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterCatherine Kariaxi

I'm compelled to write. I've tried other career choices, and I keep coming back to writing. In a way, it's my escape. A chance to dive into a new world.

November 17, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterTara McClendon

Writing is my way of escaping reality. Even if I'm not writing fiction and just scribbling down my thoughts. When I was younger I didn't have anyone that I could talk to about my problems so I wrote them all down. So it's very therapeutic for me. It helps me to see my thoughts on paper so I can sort things out.

November 17, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterGavin

Writing was my way to escape as a young teenager. I spent more time living in other worlds than the real one through books, films, and my own written worlds. Like Tina Lynn, I stopped for a really long time. I was in a very bad place emotionally for quite some time, and I gave up on the hope of being a writer.

After I met my (now) husband I found some of my work. I realised it was actually quite good, albeit unpolished. Hubby gave me the support I needed to give it go.

When I got pregnant I realised that it was important to me to show my future baby that his Mummy had done her best to schieve her deams, not be the type of person who said "I wish I had.." Now he's ten months old and it's more important to my than ever.

The thing is, though, writing just feels like it is part of me. Even if I never get published I'll write. Be disappointed, admittedly, but I'll still make up stories in my head. it's who I am, and I am a better person, a calmer and happier person, since the words started to flow again. I've got my Hubby and my baby boy to thank for that.

November 17, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterGemma Noon

Thanks for posting that, b/c I had missed the interview. I say, "Good for her!!"

Writing is an escape for me from my day job, from the pulls and responsibilities of my busy life. It's funny that writing has added a whole new level of busyness, but I never see it that way.

November 17, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterHeather Sunseri

My youngest is 16 months old and she doesn't sleep through the night, either. I haven't slept through the night in a looooong time, so I'm in the zombie mom mode, too. I finally got the courage to start writing just a few months ago, and I love it. I don't know how I've gone all these years not writing. Like you, it's a creative outlet. I wouldn't trade being home with my youngest for anything, but I do need the mental stimulation. And I hope this will become my actual career one day:)

November 17, 2009 | Unregistered Commentermelane

I chewed on a story for two years as I rode my bike back and forth to work. Or maybe it chewed on me. Anyway I started writing it down. That was six years ago. And I loved the challenge and the creativity, and the possibility of writing a whole novel. Could I do it? And the more I wrote, the more I wanted to write, the more I needed to write. And slowly the writing took over my life. Now, it's the main thing I do. I resigned from my teaching job two years ago to write full-time. No guarantees where it will take me but I'm sure enjoying the journey with all of its ups and downs, twists and turns, unexpected detours. Now, I can't imagine a life without writing.

November 17, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterPaul

For me, writing is an outlet and therapy. I wrote a lot more poetry than fiction as a teenager, and it helped me to sort through emotions, get to know myself better. It gave life and legitmacy to my fears, in a good way, if that makes sense.

Now, I write more prose than poetry, and I find it much more challenging (yet also more rewarding) that penning concise, three to five line poems.

Yes, it is with the hope that I might someday see my name down the spine of a book, but for me, writing is mostly about the sweet release.

November 17, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterAmber Tidd Murphy

I am an American living in a small city in China. Due to language & cultural differences, I feel very, very isolated and at times, very, very lonely. Writing keeps me company. I work as an aviation instructor, something that is NOT me at all (I'm a librarian!), but then I think about my writing and I realize that everything I am doing and seeing here is just research. Writing keeps me sane.

November 17, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterHeather Menchero

I started writing stories as soon as I could write, as soon as I could spell. I started writing to stop the voices in my head. And it was a great way to escape everything that was going on around me." rel="nofollow">-Joshua

November 17, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterJoshua

I started writing because a counsellor asked a difficult, but very good question and I had no life left to lose and thought I'd write my way to an answer. I never suspected I would also write my way to some sort of life and find the start of Happy, but there you go.

November 17, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterTabitha Bird

Writing is all mine. I don't do it for the kids. I don't do it for my husband. I don't do it to make a living. I don't do it please my mother (who I love dearly). I do it all for me. So I guess it's for the same reason as you.

November 17, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterSusan R. Mills

I can definitely relate. I started writing again when my daughter was nine months old. She was never a good sleeper and I felt like I had lost myself. Now writing is my one me-thing that I do all by myself, for myself.

Of course, one day I'd like for oodles of people to read my writing. :)

November 17, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterStephanie Thornton

here i just want to share a very strange feeling..which i used to have the days i regularly wrote poetry...before getting published my first or may be the last book of poetry...i used to feel after writing every piece that i am very secure..i have my creations to surround me ,to keep me safe from the worries or rather so alled worries of world..but time got cganged...i experienced death of loved ones...then responsibilities came..i myself got involved in serious kind of love relation ship....whtever i used to write in potry became the part of my real life..and now my pen denied to write..
so our writing are our dreams...dreams those havnt experienced fulfilment ....

November 17, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterHeavenly Muse

Somehow I missed this yesterday but I'm glad because I recorded the interview but didn't get to watch until 11:00pm last night.

I agree with Stephanie that you can lose yourself as a parent. When parents have something that they work hard at and are passionate about kids will follow right behind.

My son who is almost ten helped me critique another writers middle grade fiction book and now he is writing his own book and he hated writing in third grade.

We need to let our inner self shine though-- today not when our kids are gone.

November 18, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterJulie

We have the mom-burnout-so-write-for-sanity syndrome in common. Who knew? (Except I also had 2 stepkidlets to go with the 3 I birthed in 36 months...and a work on the road most of the year husband. *Whew* Glad those baby days are behind me.

November 18, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterAngie Ledbetter

This is a wonderful post and really hit home for me too. Writing is also a way with which I connect with myself, the self that I rarely let people see. I'm the oldest in my family and the most level-headed and responsible, the one who takes care of other people. As a result I deal with other people's problems and lose myself in the shuffle. I have a hard time expressing my emotions and problems, but it all comes out in writing, the outlet that lets me be me. I can't imagine life without it!

November 18, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterJulie Dao

writing is where I feel most at home and like myself, and blogging. it was my creative world a tapestry.

when i feel confused, i write.

much love

November 18, 2009 | Unregistered Commenterstaceyjwarner

Ditto what you said: "--a connection with the person I am underneath all the roles I have."

I am also a wife, mother and writer! And I love being able to say all three, the wife is for my family, the mother is for my boys but the writing is for me!

I have been writing all my life but took a kid-induced hiatus when my first son was born. I got back into it shortly after and I feel the most connected to that inner part of me when I'm writing.

November 18, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterJenniferWalkup

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