The price I paid for being a writer. Mary Elen Latela [email protected], @LatelaMary
Contributor
Written by
Mary Ellen Latela
January 2016
Contributor
Written by
Mary Ellen Latela
January 2016

My voice was silent at home or silenced. I was not thought to have anything worth saying. In my religious community, reading novels or writing poetry was considered frivolous and worldly. After five more years, I was bursting from my shell. It wasn’t delicate like a chick hatching from its egg. It was like an oozing, dripping wound, which never closed.

Then wrote every minute I could find. I even began to write about my feelings. After the children came, I decided to take up my writing again and see where it led me. I wrote poem after poem, about serious subjects. My interior life, which had been full to overflowing thrived on the writing. Hubby hated and resented this. He thought reading was a waste, forbade it (but we all know how to secretly read what we want to read.) He thought writing wouldn’t bring in any money.  Then I shifted into longer manuscripts, the “inspirational booklets.” Hubby would not let me buy typing paper (even though, who do you think typed his thesis on some remote chemical?) He wouldn’t let me buy stamps. My friends gave me paper which they bought for me; I “stole” stamps from the big tolls we kept. I sent out manuscripts with SASE (self-addressed stamped envelopes), mailed them at the mailbox down our driveway, and hoped against hope that the returns/rejections would arrive on Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, or Thursday, so that he wouldn’t see them. By some good alignment of the stars, Hubby was on a business trip when I received the letter of acceptance about publication of my first book.  The kids, Mom, Dad, and I went out to lunch.

The bottom line is that I write what I write, because I just do. After the divorce, I wrote a little booklet in a month and it was grabbed up quickly – one of my best. These days I have quite a number of projects in mind, and feel a need to prioritize. It is hard work; I love it; sometimes it makes me VERY happy; other times it exercises my critical thinking; other times, it is like a “feather on the breath of God.” And I have to write. It is my gift. I do not compare with others, or judge others, and I try to be patient with myself.

It would be really nice my dear ones cared more about my writing, but I can’t help that …. I do not do magic.

 

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