For over 30 years I have wanted to be a writer. It has been the most frustrating and rewarding journey I have ever known. A friend of mine suggested I start writing a blog about my experiences because it might help other people who feel as I do. He thought that it might encourage others to never give up and to continue following their hearts when all they want to do is kill the beat that can make any dreamer feel lost and alone. I hope that readers will follow along as I continue to add posts about my journey, my frustrations, and my triumphs. This first blog is entitled The Voice.
I’m C.L. Harmon.
I was one of those kids in school who dreaded math class. It was a real bitch for me. Try as I may, the dots in my brain just would not connect to create an image of understanding. However, English and grammar were the complete opposite. I could sleep in class and still, miraculously it seemed, soak up that information effortlessly.
Years later, I would come to understand that it was by no an accident that my brain functioned that way. It was by design. My Creator had a specific purpose in mind when he wired those neurons together inside my head. What He didn’t give me was an instructional manual to operate that well-oiled machine that rests on my shoulders. Instead, He gave me a desire that was no less potent than an animal in heat.
We call it writing. Really such a simple word for having such a major impact on my life. And when I say ‘impact’ I don’t always mean a positive one. In fact, I would venture to say that in many ways it has been a negative one. Allow me to elaborate. Imagine, if you will, a nagging little voice in the back of your mind that is ever present and rarely quiet. The voice is constantly reminding you that you need to be doing something else.
Since i was 18 years old I have heard that voice. It has never abated or been silenced for very long. Every job I have ever had (And there have been a lot of them in the past 30 years) that did not pertain to writing in some manner, has been what many might call stepping stones to get me where I wanted to be. To me though, they didn’t feel like stepping stones but throwing stones that were being hurled at me in an effort to follow that voice.
I do not want it to sound as though I had a choice. In fact, I have never had a choice. Trust me when I tell you that after enough rocks hit me, I was going to listen to that voice and get out of the strike zone. I simply couldn’t stand it anymore. Guess what happened next. Yes, I would make a choice that others must have thought crazy or at least unwise. But I couldn’t help it. I would quit a job and take one for less money in order to have time to write or invest in myself to have a career in writing. As the weeks turned into months though and responsibilities of family and bills would tighten, off to another job I would go.
“This time nothing is going to stop me! I am going to make this job work this time. Positive attitude? Check! A new perspective? Check! The aftertaste of pride in my throat? Check! I am going to be like everyone else here. I am going to work hard, put in my time and be normal. Maybe buy a boat and start going to the lake on the weekends like my co-workers. I am going to focus on being a regular guy who puts in his time at the payroll production plant and then just enjoy my time off until retirement. A steady paycheck, 401K, paid vacations, advancement opportunities. Oh yeah, this is going to be great!”
“Hey! Wake up! You know this isn’t right for you. “What? Oh no! Damn! There it is again. That pesky and annoying voice is back!” With everything I could muster, I would order it to go away, to shut-up, and to leave me alone. I have a good thing going here and you are not going to mess it up, I would tell it. Sure it would quiet down for a little while. But back into my conscious thoughts it slowly crept creating conflict as the weeks would slip by. As though under some alien control, my thoughts would begin looking for a way out. The positive attitude toward my job, the hopes of being normal without the pipe dream of being some writer who can change the world for the better by being a writer were again becoming overwhelming. However, the voice had spoken…and again I listened.
To Be Continued!