Friday Speakout: Never Too Late, Guest Post by Kim Smith

Friday, July 17, 2009
Never Too Late

by Kim Smith

For years, I did not write. For those same years, I felt angry at this failure, and I mourned the writer inside me that I thought I'd lost forever. It wasn't until I'd made a life-changing decision that the writer's block was shattered, and only then did I realize why I had not written a single word.

As writers, we need to create a life that will encourage and inspire us to put pen to paper, or in most cases, sit in front of the computer and type our little hearts out. Only recently have I created this life for myself.

As a teenager I wrote volumes of angst-ridden poetry. I didn't care how sappy or ill written it might be; I wrote for the sheer joy of writing, and for releasing the vast amount of emotion that dwelled in my tormented soul. It wasn't good writing, but it was honest writing, and I never seemed to run out of things to say.

As an adult, I stopped listening to my inner muse. Instead of pursuing my dreams of traveling abroad, of becoming a journalist, of living my life to the fullest, I became a bookkeeper for our family business and remained in the small town I grew up in. In hindsight, I know I could have made this life a better one, but I did not. Fear ruled my life. I married and divorced, and remarried again. I never traveled or did anything exciting. I stopped learning. No surprise I was bored and unhappy; there is nothing worse for creatives than being stuck in a rut, and to not pursue the gifts we are born with.

But finally, something snapped. I knew I had to change my life, or die a miserable, unfulfilled person. I found myself on the internet, searching for cheap, rural properties located on the other side of the country. There were so many to choose from. I scanned the acreages and showed the best ones to my husband who, thank goodness, is a wonderful supportive man. When I suggested that we buy one of these places, quit our jobs, and move thousands of miles away from family and friends, he immediately agreed, as he, too, is a stifled creative.

This was the first adventure I'd had in thirty years. My husband can drive big trucks, so we bought a semi-truck and trailer to drive across the country. We packed up our belongings and our three cats, and drove from Vancouver Island, British Columbia to Prince Edward Island, staying at truck-stops all the way across. It was the most fun I'd ever had, and for the first time since I was a teenager, I felt myself awakening.

This last year we've been building a house and developing our 25 acres. I've started my very first vegetable garden, and I've discovered the joys of hanging clothes to dry. We've got laying hens now, and hope to eventually raise rabbits, turkeys and sheep. Every day I wonder at the peace and serenity this new life has given us.

But, best of all, this change has released my muse at last. I've started writing again, joyously, fervently. I've rediscovered the pleasure of creating, and I know in my heart I will never let it go again. I've seen and learned so much on this journey; it's no wonder I couldn't create when I lived in that self-imposed box I called a life.

But finding the inspiration to write needn't be as dramatic or as expensive as this. Take a course or class that will challenge you. Become a volunteer. Drive a different way to work, or explore parts of your town you've never been. Take lots of unusual pictures. Stop doing the same old thing and start shaking up your life: a new restaurant, a live performance, or music in the park. Change needn't cost money. Take a walk every night and vary your routes, walk a neighbor's dog, sit in the park and observe the humans that pass by, stroll through the mall and take note of the noises, the colors, and the smells, watch birds from your window, bake some cookies and take them to a neighbor. Reach out and touch the world around you.

Don't be shy, or afraid, or hesitant. Life truly is too short. Get out and live a little, or a whole lot! Do not mourn the time you have lost; celebrate who you are now, and forge ahead with a smile on your lips. Inspire yourself, and the words will flow.

Kim lives in the country with one needy dog, three perfect cats, one long-suffering husband, and far too many chickens. She tries to write on a regular basis after a suffering a writer's block of thirty years. Her only claims to writing fame are placing second in a local writing contest, and publication of a short story in a local writer's magazine


Would you like to participate in Friday "Speak Out!"? Email your short posts (under 500 words) about women and writing to: marcia[at]wow-womenonwriting[dot]com for consideration. We look forward to hearing from you!



Anonymous said...

My goodness, Kim,I certainly identify with you story. (Especially the angst-ridden teenage poetry). It's inspiring to see someone who has had the courage to make life changing decisions.

Donna Volkenannt said...

Hi Kim,
What a wonderful and exciting life you have created for yourself! I so agree with your statement, "Do not mourn the time you have lost."
I wish you great success with your writing; it sounds like you're on the right track.
Donna Volkenannt

Jan Cline said...

I can really identify with your story - except for the moving across the country! I too let my muse slumber far too long. Finally, at the age of 55 I am waking her up and pressing forward. You are so right about adding more inspiration to your everyday life. Thank you for sharing.

Krymzen Hall said...

Wonderful piece...hits home in many ways...

Brynne said...

I wish I could give you a hug, dear Kim! You know...when one of us awakens our heart and soul, ALLLL of us feel the effects! Thank you for sharing!! I eagerly await what the next chapter of your life brings...surely no less than pure magic! HoOoOray!!
Brynne Betz

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