I'm linking up with Lisa-Jo for Five Minute Friday. Today's topic is Write.
"You write well," she told me as she handed me one of our creative writing assignments. I believed her then. But now? I don't know. I write well when I have a story, a creative idea. But everyday when it was my job I hated it.
Maybe it was the companies I had to work with on mainland China that ended up asking for this and that or a little edit here and there. It wasn't what I thought it would be. I loved writing, but the creative brain fest I had to put out over time and space of an 8 hour day was killing me. They wanted results over the product. They did not value the creativity. So I put in my days and played both editor and writer.
And now? I'm glad those days are over, I'm glad they are gone. I struggle to call myself a writer because many people do. I've written and edited six books, but I don't feel like I was good at that job. Those poems I've written stay in their book mostly, and when I'm not afraid of the critic I'll bring them out among safe friends. It's the same with the stories from those days; there are many of them but they are not always mine to tell. The twisted fabric of my life woven, intertwined into a culture that is not my own, but that will always be a part of me.
The erhu playing soft tunes on humid air in the dusk of the evening, the park benches filled with people, and paddle boats on the lake under willow trees. "Take your time, " I tell myself. "Take your time. " Life moved slower there in the countryside, away from the big city where I later would take work. Time to live, time to write, time to become. Writing is like ripening. The story is best told after it has set for awhile. It doesn't have to be perfect to be beautiful.