Why would you write?

I remember exactly the moment when I started to write.

I was seven years old and I just finished reading ‘The Hobbit’. For the first time a book has transported me to a world that only existed in imagination, to the place and time that could never be. Nevertheless, it was not a fairytale, it felt real to me.

Moved by it, I wrote my first story. And so it began. I kept reading and writing more and more fantasy stories whenever I had time. I could spend hours and hours hooked into a book. Then I got into role-playing games (not the computer ones…) – first with my older brother being the Game Master and then I took a shot at it too. I had a group of girlfriends in the neighborhood, who none RPG group wanted to take in, since it was mostly ‘guys stuff’ and we played together. I felt excitement of making up a story and people actually LIVING it. That was again, a level up of storytelling to me.

Until I was in primary school, I had the most supportive teachers, who let me explore my creative side, but things have changed when I went to high school. There, as of day one, everything was about preparation for university exams. No space for self-exploration. I still pushed for it, whenever I had time, there are probably trunks of notebooks with my scribbling stuffed in my parents’ basements. My only audience were my sisters, who were reading my notes whether I asked them or not, diaries included… 🙂 Just a part of life in a big household.

My teachers told me to give up and focus on what is important. My parents told me to get a real job and then entertain myself in my ‘spare’ time. So I listened to the wise people around me and my passion for writing slowly phased out, lost in more important priorities. I had one more attempt to go back to it, when I attended writers’ club in Geneva, Switzerland. All other there were British, therefore I had to submit my work in English. I was used by then to mostly corporate language and felt like a Neandertal in comparison to their sophisticated vocabulary and dramatic construction. I soon gave up.

Last year I took a New Year’s resolution to come back to writing. I started with short articles on linked in around different topics that excite me. There was no purpose to it other than practice and create a habit out of it. Come back on the horse of creativity. Soon, I wanted more. Partially, cause I enjoyed it so much. Partially, because I felt yet again I am connecting to people thanks to telling those stories. I actually met so many new wonderful friends – even if only online – who messaged me after some of my thoughts resonated with them. It felt really fulfilling!

Strangely, it also made me feel back at home. Transported back in the past, to my grandparents’ house. Making up stories with my siblings, making up our own worlds, our own rules. After my brother’s passing last year that feeling grew stronger and stronger in me. Many times death of the close ones reminds us about passing of time and value of life…

At the end of last year I thought it is time.

I will write a book.

It was supposed to be about diversity in advertising. I planned for it and created research agenda, topics, chapters, list of people I want to interview… and then, I told my best friend about it.

‘Business book?’ said she, very surprised. ‘I thought that if you were to write one, it would be a fantasy novel.’

Sometimes simple words can strike you as a lightning.

This one sentence stayed with me. But my brain was clogged with daily worries and duties that make all of us busy and contribute to what we call life. At one point, luckily, I went on holiday and my mind was released. It broke free. The story poured out of me like a river. I could not stop writing. I was grabbing my notebook immediately after waking up. I was scribbling whenever I had time with my angel husband bearing the fact I absolutely got devoured by the process during our holidays. In two weeks a story was born.

I felt so alive and fulfilled. I felt myself again.

Do not toy with your best friends, I can tell you… The sometimes understand you better than you know yourself and they are a force in your life that cannot be underrated!

Once I finished, I thought of printing 30 pieces of it and gifting it for Christmas for my family and friends. But then again, I gave it to couple of people to read and they all encouraged me to publish it… after so much cheering that I did not expect, I started sending it to publishing houses.

So, here we are. I have an editor now. The story is crafted. Needs some grammar and orthography check and then… In two or three months we go to printing.

If there is one thing of this bit long story that you can find useful is that:

The arts are not a way to make a living. They are a very human way of making life more bearable. Practicing an art, no matter how well or badly, is a way to make your soul grow, for heaven’s sake. Sing in the shower. Dance to the radio. Tell stories. Write a poem to a friend, even a lousy poem. Do it as well as you possible can. You will get an enormous reward. You will have created something.

That is what Kurt Vonnegut wrote and, through the whole process of creating my book, I had imprinted in my soul. I do not know if anyone else apart from my family and friends will read it. It does not matter. I loved every moment of working on it. It unleashed parts of me I thought were gone. It made me feel myself again. Whatever it is you feel passionate about… Do it. For yourself. Not for anyone else.

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