For the past weeks, I have been mentoring a high school student on his Senior Project. He has chosen to make Creative Writing his topic and is slogging away at short stories as we speak. For part of our time together every day, I have been sharing with him bits and pieces of Lawrence Block's useful text Writing the Novel: from Plot to Print to Pixel. Today we read about the weird reality of writing as an art form. Unlike other arts and artistic endeavors - painting, music, pottery - writers expect something from their end product. They strive to be published and suffer depression if they are not. I can certainly relate to this. It isn't enough that I write a poem most days. I have to share that poem with my husband, my daughters, and sometimes even on Facebook, though that is not advised as it limits future publication. The point is, I want to be heard. Sure, I have plenty of work tucked away that will never see the light of day, but my preference is to share what I have written with the world. Is this ego? Somewhat. It is nice when people say pleasant things about what I have written. And since publishing my novels, I have felt just a little bit special that I appeared on tv. But I don't think it is all ego. It is money too. Though seldom do writers make much on their craft, still the illusive windfall reverberates in my ears. I dream of a time when I can live off of what I love doing. the question is 'What do I expect?" If I expect fame and fortune, all the fun is sucked out of my creativity. Suddenly there is an anxious frenzy to get what I think I want. Think is the operative word. It's not what I really want. What I want is what I have. A comfortable life, a loving family, a healthy body, time to create and time to work with others who want to create. It is enough to write poems that bring me delight. Really? Really, though I love sharing them with others. I don't think the way to get what I truly want is to chase fame and fortune, to round up hoards of admirers and keep a busy schedule. To get what I want is to sit in my chair in the morning and feel connected to that power that made me a writer in the first place. To give thanks for my gift and to share it not because I have anything to get but because everything I have is to be given in turn. That is what makes me happy. So if no one ever reads this, oh well. If someone reads it and is moved, thank God! I am so grateful when anyone takes the time to read what I have put on paper. I am so grateful when the Universe inspires me to write.