In my practice as a psychotherapist, I also hear people talking
again and again about their life, their conflicts and their past. People come with their life tales, their
strong emotional connection and their wisdom about the fates of life: 'I could write a book about it !' they
say very often. The only thing that's missing, it seems, is just the decision to do so…
No matter how trivial or complicated their tales are, one item that strikes me every time is their shear depth and full 'underwriting' of their stories. These people had a difficult time in their life and sought help. After 2 years or sometimes only after 32 years! They admitted, they where not able to cope with the problem(s) and it seems that they had to be labeled 'sick'. In contradiction with the term 'healthy' of the 'normal' people.
After a while, it became obvious to me that there is no real difference between the 'normal' people and the 'sick' people that need some kind of therapy. It is simply a gradation of one reality where to my opinion the 'sick' people, seeking help, are more normal than the 'normal'.
What I’m trying to say for the subject is just the same: a 'non writing' writer is as well a 'writer' as a writer ! One has just to pass a threshold !
So, in a peculiar moment, about 6 months later (Jul.'98), I was teaching at the whiteboard in a workshop in Holland about relationships. After 10 minutes a woman simply left the room, saying that she made a mistake by coming to this workshop! And a guy stated that he did not agree with my ideas ! To the leaving of the woman, I could nothing bring in, but I invited the guy to stay listening for an hour or so at least. Otherwise, he would not be able to see for himself if my words would really mean something to him or not. The atmosphere was 'heavy'...
But soon this one-day workshop switched in energy and went smoothly and it became a nice and intense interaction and experience (with good communications).
At home, in thinking it over, it became clear to me that I had really done a good job in the teaching that day and a few days later, I had a real beautiful dream about expressing myself fully in writing. I finally started to re-arrange my working room and prepared my computer for the writing job. So I DID THE STEP and started writing down my first drafts during summer '98!
I thought at the same time that it would be a good idea to start first a course by correspondence in learning the fine things in writing. So, I subscribed to a written course (I did have to order it twice before it arrived some weeks later!). And there again I sat, looking at all those textbooks, consignments etc… And it took another 10 months before I sent in the first draft and got a reply back soon…… So, once again, I was still entangled in the urge of first getting to be good enough (preferably perfect) before I thought I could really start to write down my own stories.
Then, on June 27, 1999 (some 12 'moons' after the first decision), I met a woman through the Internet that got very interested in my tales, my 'stuff', my theories, experiences and first drafts on various subjects. She asked questions… and asked again, gave comments… Sometimes e-mail flashed back and forth 2-3 times a day. And as I could only reach her through the Internet, I HAD TO START WRITING DOWN ALL MY IDEAS and get used to the experience in explaining something to a reader instead of a listener.
And so it started, as simple as that. It really happened in this manner ! And now I know why all those famous, well known writers begin their book almost invariably with: 'in dedication of… (a woman's name)'…..
Next came up the second hurdle. Writing a 'real' book is quite something ! 200 pages or so, how do I get through that ?? It was obvious that I had to subdivide this monumental task into some more digestible pieces. So, the idea was born to split up 'the book' into some 20-30 smaller tales and to start first with a 'limited' publication on the Internet. An extra advantage was that these titles can be placed on the net at the pace in which they become available. Writing a whole book is a matter of at least 2 years of tedious labour before anything can happen, meaning that results start to show up and materialize (if they will ever come) only AFTER the publication date.
Then, the 3rd hurdle showed itself in clear daylight. I proudly told some people that I, (being a Belgian guy with a native Dutch tongue) was going to start writing a book IN ENGLISH ! Well, I saw their eyebrows raising, their voice hesitating, oh...nice… err… well… 'do you think that you have sufficient skill to write in English ???' they uttered with their wavering voice, followed by a loaded silence ?
And there I was again at the starting block. Because I am a guy that has a few flukes in his old English dictionary (1978): it does not contain the word 'impossible'! So, this complication came up as a cold wind in my face. How in the hell could I fix all these matters and get on to writing ??? I did not really consider the fact that I wouldn’t be capable to be a writer in English. I was used to being a good copy writer in Dutch, I speak the English language rather fluently and it never occurred to me that there would be a serious handicap… So, I thought about my English, American, Australian and Canadian friends…. and a plan brimmed in my mind: I would send them pieces of my writings through e-mail with the question to edit them if possible. Not too much at a time to keep them happy. And so, I did.
The fact that you are indeed reading these words is the final
proof that I ultimately succeeded in my overcoming all those big hurdles.
And I really enjoy it being with you. Because, this is the main reason why I am writing: to be read by people !
Just as a cook wants to create dishes for his guest to feast upon, a writer has to write for his readers. It's
as simple as that. And, once again, as you are reading me, we are in contact and I hope that the above (and the
following) can give you some added value to your life.
Now, the second question: why I am writing ? Well, that's another story ! Now I have to go back to the Typology of Jung (you know, the famous Swiss Psychiatrist - colleague of Freud). As you heard of Fire (Intuition), Earth (Sensory Perception), Air (Thinking) and Water (Feeling), you probably know that every person has a peculiar, personal mix of these types developed to a certain degree, but never in perfection. So, in Jungian terms, I am a guy with a lot of Earth-Water characteristics, introvert and very flexible. To compensate and balance this out, I developed early in life my Fire through music, photography and meditation. Only, now at 54 'my Air' is still creating difficulties. (More info on 'Typology' and other titles on the site; http://www.life-cycles-destiny.com).
I’ve been busy with this element of Air all my life.
Starting with the early days in constructing high power loudspeaker cabinets to vibrate air, than in
giving workshops (= talking), followed by ionizing air, then to switch to air-conditioning,
also air dehumidifying, humidifying, freezing air etc… and using words in hypnotherapy, and to write
words and giving lectures and workshops (so a lot of air is going on in my life). And now, I am busy
with this 'mental-intuitive' investigation (= Air-Fire), always interested in too many
subjects…. I will finally learn this 'Air Business' as well, you know !
What I try to say is that I am not at all a writer from nature. I had to overcome massive hurdles, not listen to a lot of people and go my own way, no matter how discouraging it was.
But you are here to read me. Thanks, I really enjoy it. And if you have yourself aspirations to become a real writer, I can only say: follow your heart. If you really stick to it, you will get through it, and you will make an opening to reach your reader. And if the road is long, bumpy and dusty: well, try to think about the manna of being read and understood ! Just as with the "Mystery Woman" of June 27, 1999, remember! That's all that counts in the world.
See you again.
© July 1999 - Rik Wellens