They do not exist, and thus they are all that matters

Another month has gone by in the blink of an eye, and once again I find myself missing writing dreadfully. I feel a bit like Tuvok in that Voyager episode where he’s asked to “fire at will,” and responds with something awesome like “I have the will, Captain, but not the means.” Life has been busy (and wonderful), but I’ve felt the pull toward writing sirenesque and impossible to ignore.

I think the time has come to acknowledge the fact that there’s been a shift in my attitude toward blogging: for the last couple of years, it had become a huge part of my life. I loved carving out my own little space and filling it with thoughts and ideas, immortalising them in a way upon which I can later look back, probably laugh at how young and terribly naïve I was, but remember fondly the hopes and dreams, slip-ups and victories, events and emotions that were my life here and now. Through blogging, I got to know all sorts of wonderful people who lived all over the world, and was lucky enough to meet some of them in person. Through blogging, I landed jobs, created a reason to be accountable to my biggest goals, got published in a magazine, and won a trip to Mexico. I got to express myself coherently and somewhat eloquently (the latter’s debatable) when I was too scared or shy to do it in person. Blogging has done wonderful things for my life, and for all of them I am more than thankful – but the time has come for something that’s sat prisoner at the back of my mind for too long, tapping on the jailbars and calling for release. I have become the jailer of my biggest passion, and the time has come to set it free.

I adore the written word. I love reading beautiful prose and lock away beautiful sentences like treasure. I love, when I have time, to sit at my rickety old desk with a glass of port or oversized cup of tea, turn on the fairy lights hanging overhead, light a few candles, and write away the next few hours. But as much as I’ve loved blogging, I’ve felt limited. Not in terms of expression – anyone who’s read for the last little while knows I don’t believe in keeping silent about things that matter – but in terms of style and creativity. Enormous fervor for the English language is tangled around every thought and feeling that floats across my imagination, and I can’t help but feel it’s my biggest calling in life to try to find the words with which to get it out. When I die, I’m quite sure that they’ll find the inside walls of my heart decorated with love letters, pages of Chaucer, and the inlays of hundreds of CD covers, all their lyrics borne of creative geniuses intertwining around the fibres of my soul. Words are my passion, and it seems that when you feel this strongly about something, it should be explored to the absolute limit. It shouldn’t be limited because it’s more comfortable to stay where you are, or because the ephemeral duties of the day-to-day are given priority.

In life, I’ve always been a fan of the saying “that which matters most should never be at the mercy of that which matters least”, and once again I find it situationally apt. I’ve buried the language I love beneath what’s easier, and made excuses about not having time. But I want to write fiction. I want to build characters and create worlds, to write handwritten letters and tell tales that will move people the way I’ve been moved by great literature. And the time has come where I can no longer keep this inside. I’m transitioning from blogging into creative writing, and I absolutely cannot wait.

Step one comes next weekend: after seeing a photo somewhere on the Internet, I’d designed a new tattoo (sadly my back shows no sign of becoming a cooperative team member, so that project’s on hold for the foreseeable future) which I’d fallen in love with – a circular alphabet in a script that looked like it could’ve been scrawled by Shakespeare himself, which I wanted on my inner forearm as an eternal reminder that I should be writing, and of the immense power that lies in words. Unfortunately, the script was so ornate that the size I wanted would render it illegible, and I really wanted it somewhere I could see. So I met with the artist, who asked me all sorts of questions to make sure she understood why I was getting what I was… and by the end of it, we came up with something that captures the spirit just as effectively: a beautiful, old-fashioned quill. And I have every hope that it will not only reflect my love for the written word… but guide me for the rest of my life toward what I truly should be doing. I’ll still stop by every once in a while and update my blog, but today marks the turning point to the world wherein my true passion lies.

“There are only two worlds – your world, which is the real world, and other worlds, the fantasy. Worlds like this are worlds of the human imagination: their reality, or lack of reality, is not important. What is important is that they are there. these worlds provide an alternative. Provide an escape. Provide a threat. Provide a dream, and power; provide refuge, and pain. They give your world meaning. They do not exist; and thus they are all that matters.”

– Neil Gaiman

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21 comments

  1. i’m so happy for you! there is nothing better than knowing what you should be doing and putting in the effort to make it happen.
    i do miss your regular bloggings…but when you publish your first book, i’ll read that. and i’ll be like, “I KNOW HER!!!” and make all my friends read it too.

  2. “When I die, I’m quite sure that they’ll find the inside walls of my heart decorated with love letters, pages of Chaucer, and the inlays of hundreds of CD covers, all their lyrics borne of creative geniuses intertwining around the fibres of my soul.”

    That is one of the loveliest things I have ever read. Enjoy your passion my dear, it’s going to take you wonderful places.

  3. Good for you, dear Emily. I feel the same way about writing and reading…when people like us don’t allow (or “make”) ourselves to write, we go a little crazy. As I like to say, we’re not living for our highest self. If you ever need a critique partner, let me know, because I’m always looking for one. Take care.

  4. I miss your posts ~ but I’m happy you’re following your passion! You’ve really inspired me over the past few months to change the things I’m not happy with and take steps to follow my dreams 🙂

  5. Congrats Emily! Be sure to show us the tattoo when it’s finished and keep us posted on your writing. Your photos and words are lovely as ever; nice to see you again!

  6. I’ve just been assuming that you’ve stayed away because you’re HAPPY. Isn’t that what happens sometimes? We get busy living our life and truly enjoying it, and we are too busy to document it. I have missed you, though!

    Congrats on next steps with creative writing!

  7. Good luck Emily!! It’s so lonely around here without you- I definitely got used to your regular blog updates… But I can totally understand where you’re coming from. Always look forward to your little updates, I’m super happy to see you headed in a positive direction 🙂

  8. 1. LOVE the tattoo idea. I think it will look wonderful and be an excellent way to remind you of your passion.
    2. I’m so happy that you’re following your passion and embarking on this next written journey. Congratulations on all that your life has become and all the wonder that’s filled it recently!

  9. Good luck Em! I look forward to reading what your passion creates. Maybe one day you will write episodes for Dr. Who 🙂 BTW, did you see the last Simpsons?

  10. That sounds absolutely wonderful. Good luck on this new adventure and I can’t wait to hear how things go as you pop in to update us. 🙂

  11. I love you!!! I’m so happy you’ve found a rich calling for something greater. I completely agree with you about the fantasy worlds we go to when we read books or watch movies. They are all that matter to me, too. I liken it to what John Lennon said about music, “It was the only thing that was ever real to me.”

  12. Oh god, I came to your blog at such the perfect time. Actually I’m about ten days late. But! I’m doing this too! I’m straying from my usual self to finish my fiction book and although I know my blog is there, I really want to pursue my dream of becoming a fiction writer. I’m putting my effort into it.

    I’m on chapter 9 of my fiction book and tomorrow, when the library opens I’m going to get two books: the second Harry Potter book and The Paris Wife. I’ll spend my mornings and nights writing, and my afternoons and evenings working. I’m also doing something innovative with the diary entries on my blog.

    But hey, we should talk more via email. it’s good to see you’re still around.

  13. I’m so happy that you’ll still be here from time to time, but that your absence is not due to a lack of writing.
    I have often thought over these past weeks when we sometimes hurry past each other that I so hope that life doesn’t take you away from your writing!
    I can’t wait to see what you create next!

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