Saturday, May 5, 2012

Jodi Picoult Was Right

I have always loved to write.  Up until recently, it was mostly for my own enjoyment; a hobby more than anything else.  There have been times when I have written more than others, times when a spark of creativity grabbed hold and held on for a while.  Those are typically times that coordinated with school vacations and I found myself with unfamiliar down time.  What I am experiencing now is markedly different, and it is reminding of something a favorite author shared with me years ago.

A title at our school book fair caught my eye, and though my two-year-old didn't leave much time or energy for reading, I could not resist. After one page, I could not put it down.  I'd never read a book so quickly, devouring every word.  That book was My Sister's Keeper by Jodi Picoult, and she had inspired me.  I tried to start writing, and I struggled.  I was teaching full-time, and I had two kids.  I was frustrated, so I emailed Jodi, because I am bold like that.  I asked her how she was able to spend so much time writing with a life so similarly busy in comparison to my own.  Much to my amazement, I got a reply ten minutes later.  Among other bits of advice, she revealed this:
"I can't not write.  I have too much to say."
That was six years ago, and I will be honest in saying that I didn't quite understand what she meant.  I had ideas, and I had some skill, and I really wanted to write.  When all was said and done, though, if I didn't get some writing done, I was okay with that. 

That was then, and this is now.  I understand what Jodi was talking about now, because I feel the same way.  I am coming off one of the busiest weeks of my school year so far, full of evening commitments, and I have struggled to squeeze in time to write.  My arms ache, like words are stuck inside, waiting to come out.  I feel better when I write, and I am so fortunate to have discovered that.  For me, I guess it took a tragedy to ignite that spark into a full-fledged flame that will light the way for my future.

So, thanks Jodi.  It took six years, but I get it now.  I, too, can't help but write.  I also have too much to say.


  1. What a familiar feeling. My need to write even creeps into my dreams on occasion. I applaud your boldness in emailing Ms. Picoult.

  2. This is a great post! I can't believe you just up and emailed Jodi Picoult! :) I love the feeling I get when there is something that I have to write. It's almost a compulsion to push everything aside and get the words out. I think it's great you feel that, and gave this outlet for it!

  3. Kudos to you, Kelly! I am a mom with a full time job too, and making time for writing is always a struggle. But, like you and Ms. Picoult --I do it because I have to.

    Hopefully it will all pay off one day and we'll find ourselves in print. Just signed up for a little Kelly email magic. I could always stand to know another mom who writes. It's a long, hard slog sometimes. :)

  4. What a beautiful story! Thanks for sharing Kelly! I can relate to this on all levels - being a busy mother of two and barely having the time and energy to write but also feeling like the words are just bubbling at the surface just waiting to be released!

    I look forward to following your journey through your blog.

    Best wishes to you,