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Thursday, February 14, 2013


Do We LOVE Writing? Reflections on Cupid's Holiday

Cupid's Arrow in South Beach by Nan Palmero
Cupid is a symbol of Valentine's Day that we all recognize. According to Roman mythology (and the version you happen to read), Cupid, the Roman god of Love, can shoot his arrow through your heart and cause you to fall hopelessly in love with another person. Sometimes, this can work out great--if the other person loves and adores you in return. If not, you're basically cursed and walking through your life like a zombie, looking for some relief from your broken heart.

And then there's this LOVE we all say we have for writing. . .

When you're with a group of writers or on a writing blog, you will often see statements such as, "I fell in love with writing at a young age and haven't been able to stop." or "Writing is my greatest passion." or "If I can't write, I don't want to live." or simply, "I love to write." But is this relationship that we have with writing love? Is it good--this overwhelming desire that we have to put words on a page? This desire that causes us to feed our children lunchmeat for dinner or tell our husbands to get the cereal box out of the pantry if he's hungry? How about our house--super dust bunnies, anyone? How long has it been since you took a shower? Come on, you can be honest with us. We understand.

I'm not sure if you can call this relationship that we have with writing LOVE. My theory is that each one of us was once an unsuspecting, innocent, normal, clean person with regular hobbies and passions; and then all of a sudden, this little winged creature, Cupid, shot us with his arrow. And the scholars have gotten it totally wrong all these years--Cupid's arrows do not make you fall hopelessly in love with another person. No, they make you fall desperately "in love" with writing.

And it doesn't even seem to matter if writing has loved us back or not--as a matter of fact when we have some success: a contest win, a published book, a contract for a newspaper column--we become more and more obsessed with our computers, journals, and notebooks. My husband actually calls my computer my fourth child--there's my stepson, my daughter, my dog, and my computer.

So on this day when we celebrate LOVE, try to find some time away from the keyboard and pen and hug a human (or animal!) you love today. Maybe even bake him or her a cookie or remember to call the Chinese place to order some dinner. Then tomorrow, go back to writing--our passion, our obsession. After all, it's not our fault--it's Cupid's. That's what I plan to tell my family the next time I throw a loaf of bread on the table and a package of deli ham.

Margo L. Dill is the author of Finding My Place: One Girl's Strength at Vicksburg and teaches classes on children's writing in the WOW! classroom.

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Blogger Sioux said...

Margo--Hey, your family gets ham with their bread? You should get credit for being willing to go that extra mile. ;)

Yes. Sometimes I think it's a love-hate relationship, but they say there is a fine line between the two. And sometimes I'm dancing back and forth and smudging that line.

Thanks for the post. I'll have to use that as an excuse and blame Cupid.

4:44 AM  
Blogger Monica Stoner said...

Yeah I guess you could call it 'love.' Sort of along the lines of that book 'Beautiful Disaster.' There are just enough high moments to make up for the times we'd all rather be waxing floors (if we could find the floor under the layer of dust) except for that one...last...scene that's been bugging us for days.

6:59 AM  
Blogger MP said...

I love how your husband calls your computer your 4th child. Happy Valentine's Day!

8:38 AM  
Blogger Julie Luek said...

I had a rich career, for over 20 years, in a completely non-writing related field. But writing was like a secret lover I kept tucked between the covers of a journal or even the care I put into emails I sent to colleagues. Every now and again, I'd take the lover out for a stroll in a local publication and once even flirted dangerously with it by publishing a few short pieces.

Finally, as I stared down the final years of my 4th decade, I decided to become more public with the romance. Like all good relationships, sometimes I feel the hot rush of passion, other times, I realize it just takes a lot of work.

Thanks for the reminder that this pursuit is, indeed, a journey of the heart.

9:54 AM  
Blogger Margo Dill said...

@Sioux--This story honest to goodness happened at my house: I made ham sandwiches for dinner (it was me, my two-year-old, and my stepson (11 at the time). I put the ham sandwich in front of him, and he said, "This is dinner?" Now he is not a smart aleck kid usually so I tried to keep my cool, imagining his mom cooking homemade meals every night of spaghetti, chicken and macaroni and cheese, etc, and I said, "Yes, at our house, this is dinner. It's a sandwich. You like it. Eat it." He smiled and took a bite and then he said--QUIETLY I might add, "I thought in the car you said we were ordering pizza." Then I started laughing--turns out we had been talking about pizza but it was for the NEXT DAY, and he thought it was supposed to be that night for dinner, so was a bit disappointed to sit down to the ham sandwich! :) LOL

8:32 PM  
Blogger Margo Dill said...

@Monica--I have to say I would NEVER be rather waxing a floor. Thank God, we have Facebook and Twitter to procrastinate with now--twenty years ago, they had to do things like wax floors. ;)

@Marcia--oh yes, my husband thinks he is a comedian.

@Julie--beautifully said! :)

8:34 PM  

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