Friday, June 4, 2010

journey towards a dream

About 12 years ago, I was doing an MFA in Creative Writing in the US. Sometime during those lovely years, my fellow writers and I talked about our dreams. We all wanted to be published, but those dreams were unspoken. It was almost taboo to talk of publishing in our heady world of form and word and the white, dreaming space between words.

So I spoke about creating a space for kids to write. My dreams were big; they involved running a Centre for the Creative Arts for young people. Or, sometimes, I saw myself managing a bookstore, with a room attached—for holding writing workshops for young people. Always I imagined a room of kids, eager to write, surrounded by the energy of their imagination. I also imagined myself writing, always, and getting published. It was inconceivable that I might not always write. I finished my MFA and thought, here, now, I'll become a writer.

Then I met someone, fell in love, became a mum, and got distracted. Beautifully, wildly, kaleidoscopically distracted. For ten years.

When I chose to become a full time mum, I kept my dream close and quiet. I wrote in spurts if at all. I won a competition, and published a short story. Thought, this is my big break! Then, a handful of rejections, not many, but enough to let myself feel defeated.

The dream got whisper small. When my kids went to school, I thought of running workshops at their school. But lunchtimes were so tiny; mornings impossible. I thought of running workshops after school at the local community hall. But it didn't feel right, and the idea of charging money felt wrong, as I now saw myself as "simply" a mum, barely a writer.

Then came homeschool. The world opened up. Suddenly there was all this time, and sweet eager kids asking to learn, excited to learn. We were excited about books, together! We were excited by ideas, together! We began writing stories, making books, and I began little workshops at home for two—pocket-sized workshops that made us laugh. I thought, I am happy.

I began a homeschool journal, I allowed my thoughts to fill whole pages. One morning I woke and began my novel again. I thought, I would like to run a writers workshop. A free one. For homeschoolers. I put the idea out into my particular universe and was met with excitement, support, and a "When can we start?"

We've been going for half a year now. We meet every second Friday, and the kids keep coming back. They talk about books and do writing exercises. They lie on the floor and write; they climb the trees outside and write. At the end of every workshop, the parents come in and listen to the stories their young people have written. The warmth and love is palpable; the desire to listen and the desire to share equal. It's beautiful.

And here I am, living my dream. Writing, sharing my love of writing, listening to the weave of words. I looked around my life today and thought, Here I am.

1 comment:

  1. I have just read this first set of posts on your blog Helena and I absolutely love what you say and how you say it.


I love hearing from you! Thank you for your heartfelt, thoughtful responses—they lift me, and give me light.