I found a letter that I had written to myself as a prompt during a free write about six months ago. I’m thinking of printing it out and keeping it next to my computer. In it are my plans, some project ideas, and my ultimate goals and dreams. A lot of it comes down to what I want to do for myself, and not for my family or anyone else. I am a wife and mother, of course I love my husband and children. But like many other women, I always put them first, and my own wants and needs last. Way last. Way way last.
Not only do I want things, but I want to be able to look at something I’ve done that I am proud of. I want to reread something that I wrote, giggle internally, and say, “I wrote that!” And, actually, that letter to myself (from myself?) gave me that feeling. It was honest, encouraging, and dare I admit that I really like my own writing style?
That letter is a reminder of what I want. A private island? Where we can host a summer bible camp for kids? To foster and adopt kids after ours are grown?
It’s a reminder of why I want to write. Telling the world my mother’s life story? Writing fiction in a genre that is little represented? Finally putting all that goes on in my heart and head to paper, and sharing it with the world.
It reminds me who I’m writing for. For my husband, who worries that I don’t do enough for myself. For my friends, that want nothing but to see me succeed at something that I love. For my children, to teach them to follow their dreams. For myself, to learn to put my wants first once in a while.
I am a writer, but I have suppressed that part of me, in exchange for changing diapers and washing uniforms. That letter to myself demands that I take time (even just 15 minutes) to write everyday. It tells me that some (definitely not all!) of my ideas are really good. It’s a tangible item that I can look at, and remember those goals that I’m working toward. It’s a reminder of what I want to do, and who I want to be.
Dear Lamphone, you are a writer. Now make it happen. You can make it happen.