When I was young I wrote stories about climbing trees, playing with a friend, and playing with my dog. All of these stories ended the same with my mother walking in and the narrative would just stop. You’d think someone would have noticed this, but no one cared. I never wrote a book report for school, not even one. I graduated high school with no real plans besides becoming a mechanic. Right after high school I had an epiphany and for about a month I though long and hard about writing for car magazines. I had been reading Road & Track for three years and was also reading Hot Rod magazine. A lot of thought and not one word written down about it. In the service I found myself buying lots and lots of books, but only reading sporadically. When I was 25 I read A Moveable Feast by Ernest Hemingway and was inspired to become a writer. Sporadic reading and writing ensued. I pursued a BA and chose the testing out method for various reasons and almost never wrote a paper until the last class. I took three classes that required writing: College Writing; Research Paper; and the final Capstone. After I retired from working on airplanes I wanted to take a certificate course @ UW in Genealogy, but my wife talked me into pursuing a Certificate in Writing. I didn’t feel like writing anymore. Now I have returned to work and the only thing I want to do is to retire again. So here I am, a writer that doesn’t write.

I don’t think my problem is that I do not want to write, but that I have no ambitions.

3 thoughts on “Journey

  1. meesh

    Interesting. You write really well. Maybe you just need a coach to cheer you on. Sometimes it’s hard to get motivated without support from someone that is interested in your hobby.

  2. Padric O'Rouark

    What makes life worth living? Do we rise each day and expend the energy to go to work for the sake of work? Is it something we like or is it something we know we are capable of doing? Sometimes we stay in a certain place because we absolutely know we can do that successfully. I have noticed that when people marry and have children they often abandon their ambitions and dreams for the role they believe they must play. Too many years of that and we do not seem to be able to steer the course back to that long lost heading. Our life took a turning in a necessary direction.

    In fact, we do not just abandon our dreams. But when the time and opportunity to pursue what we imagined was something we once valued, we find we have circled back to the point where that original ambition and excitement no longer exists. We attempt to try to recapture them and it is then that we realize the depth of the consequences of our decision making. We run to the familiar

    Imagine if you will that our life experience is a groove on a record. The longer we follow that groove the deeper it gets and the harder it is to move the needle over into a new path. It takes a lot of effort and discipline to go back and try to recapture the lost track. You haven’t lost the spark as much as you saw a need and followed a path of love and self sacrifice for family and that groove and its habit is deep after thirty years.

    You still have life and you can still write and do genealogies. You just won’t be spending as much time at it while working for the employer we once shared. Designated overtime is their mantra and your nemesis. The job you have is demanding enough to keep the mind and hands busy and focused mostly away from the stuff you dream of. It is environmental in nature. You don’t have to quit. If you do not feel fulfilled and seem cast adrift, a change in environment might require some thought.

    Think about it this way, if you rejoice in being physically fit you might choose employment that is physically demanding. A framer builds houses, a logger falls trees. Butcher, baker, candlestick maker, we frequently are what we do. If you want to be a writer, perhaps you can find a job (even with your employer) that requires you to write. Perhaps your employer farms out their instruction manuals. If that is the case maybe you can find out who they are and apply. But don’t expect the pay will compare.

    If you want to research genealogies perhaps you can find a job or activity as a researcher to improve those skills. The job may not look exactly like your goals but perhaps it will bring you further along that path. When your brain adapts to that environment and becomes proficient as you push the needle on the record, you might find your groove again.

    Conan the Librarian said, “Don’t you know the Dewy Decimal System?!?” (Grins)


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