Updated: Mar 11, 2021
I love to write. Ever since I was a child I've been writing stories and I devour books - even with a newborn I managed to read or listen to at least 20 books a year. Thats not to brag, some of my very best friends are just not real readers and that's OK. I just love words. I love how they go together to communicate and idea or a plot line. I love getting lost in another world and seeing how it inspires my own world. Every time I open my eyes and go about my day I am constantly seeing things on my small farm that inspire a parallel to life or could be the jumping off point of a fantasy novel... So you'd think I'd never stay away from this blog and you'd be annoyed with me posting twice a day. And yet writing is still a skill and skills take practice and intention. (Welcome to Starting Gate.) This is not the first blog I've managed. I think its the 4th or 5th (and that doesn't count notebooks of short stories and so. many. journals.) I was doing a little internet clean up today around my business here and realized an old blog of mine was still floating around on the 'web. So of course I dug through the file cabinets of my brain and figured out my old password and logged back in to read them all. I found this gem written in 2016 (thats almost 5 years ago) and its just as relevant today as it was then. And I hope it inspires you too. So here is the unexpected blast from the past in its original prose: "The World Is Your Oyster. After about 5 seconds of research (hey thanks internet) it seems this phrase came from non other than Shakespeare himself. No surprise there – the more I’ve learned about that man the more I find his sense of humor enchanting and mastery of words enthralling.
It came from The Merry Wives of Windsor, Act 2 Scene 2:
PISTOL: Why, then the world’s mine oyster / Which I with sword will open.
At first glance, this phrase is incredibly romantic in the traditional sense of the word. The world is out there – because of your place in life, your privilege and your position, take a crack at it and find your pearls! What an adventure! What excitement and huge payoff!
But have you ever actually seen or smelled an oyster? I know some people find them delicious – but they’re slimy. And they smell like fish.
And I even like fish.
But this is almost a NSFW picture… seriously look at it. Who’s idea was it to start digging around in these things? Who first thought “Hey, that looks delicious. Imma eat it.”
Because usually we avoid gross slimy smelly things. For some reason lately, writing has felt slimy and smelly. Recently, I haven’t been writing much. Obviously… since this is my first post in lets see…since May. *shudder*
And I say I want to be a writer…
I say I didn’t have material in the spring and was waiting for the kids to come back to the ranch before I could write again. LIES. There is plenty of material everywhere. I could write you a novel about the year I’ve spent getting to know Mika. I’m fairly bursting with thoughts and ideas for stories and lessons I’ve learned in unexpected places. But for some reason – sitting down and putting fingers to keyboard has been incredibly difficult. Last Saturday was the first time I’d taken my personal journal out in at least a month and I wrote pages and pages by hand without getting even a small cramp.
My own body telling me I needed to get back to writing.
Life is exciting right now. I have little to complain about and even less to dwell and obsess with anxiety over. Husband and I are eagerly awaiting his Ironman Triathalon date, with a trip to Scotland a month after that then its already the holidays. My birthday is next month. Things are going awesome at the ranch and work is even tolerable recently. My garden is growing, my home is comfortable, my vehicle runs well and there is just nothing overly upsetting. So why do I sit here not being able to do the thing I want to do? Am I getting lazy in my contentment? Is that a thing?
I still battle the slime of: “I want her life – a life of riding horses and writing books.” And yet I do ride horses. I’m around horses at least 4 days a week if not more. And I have all the tools available to me that the best writers in the industry have. Better tools it seems than even Shakespeare had.
Shakespeare knew what oysters were. He knows they can be a bit upsetting. Squishy, slimy smelly, kind of gross yet somehow extremely intriguing little animals that occasionally have the surprise of a beautiful pearl that came from a grain of sand. One website I saw said it can take as little as 2 years or up to 10 for a pearl to form from a tiny grain of sand or a tiny worm, a tiny something that made its way into the oysters shell. TEN YEARS. And yet somehow I expect my pearl to show up the instant I have that tiny idea of what it should look like. That’s silly and I know it. Life doesn’t work that way.
I don’t want to stand in the slime of my oyster staring jealously at someone else’s oyster’s finished pearl instead of my own pearl forming right in front of me. I can have that life, the life of riding horses and writing books. I’ve got my own beautiful oyster, as smelly and slimy as it is right here, my pearl just isn’t finished yet.
Your world IS your oyster. Its smelly, a little slimy and weird things like sand and worms get into it sometimes. But those weird things can turn into beautiful pearls if you give them time and spend a little work on them. So don’t give up. And please don’t get lazy in your contentment. Work on that pearl.
And I’ll get back to writing.
__ Hope, Laughter, and Love Himself." Confessions of a Horse Girl returning soon. I promise. Keep Learning!