Wednesday, March 16, 2011

... Because I Have To

Today, I am very grateful to be the featured blogger on SITS , which is a remarkable community of bloggers. The acronym says it all: the Secret is the Support.

Welcome to those who have come here through SITS, and welcome to those who have come here out of habit or just because. I hope you enjoy your visit.

Quite frequently, I read SITS features, and while I miss some on occasion, I’m going to go out on a limb and guess that I’ll be the first to quote Kate Jackson.

Remember her?

Back in the days of Charlie’s Angels on television, she was deemed “the smart one.”

I don’t know where she’s taken her brains in the ensuing decades, but I do recall an interview she had with Johnny Carson.

Remember him?

Back in the days of Charlie’s Angels on television, he was the host of The Tonight Show.

I cannot remember exactly the question that Johnny had posed to Kate, but the fact that her answer stays with me speaks volumes.

She was talking about a friend’s son and how that boy wanted to break into acting. Having listened to the child’s interest, she said to him, “Do you want to get into the business because you want to act or because you have to act?”

That’s it right there.

If there’s something you have to do, you’ll be hard-pressed not to do it. No matter how much other things – things you think you want to do – get in the way.

… When I was a kid, my family had a running joke. (We were the running-joke types, which – in my opinion – can be very entertaining.) And this was the routine: If my sister misbehaved, her punishment would be no television. If I misbehaved, my punishment would be no paper or pens.

Because, for some reason, even before I knew how, I had to write.

I remember taking a pen to a legal pad, and working my way across the lines in what appeared to be cursive verse. I’d dot this and cross that (because I knew that was part of the drill), but the lines were nothing but shapes, curves, and sweeps. There was no writing there because I had not yet learned to write the words one might know beyond kindergarten.

And I certainly didn’t know how to do anything cursive…

I was simply pretending.

I was pretending to write.

To this day, I get great relaxation from doodling. If I can just hold a pen in my hand and put it to paper, I am grounded. Even if I doodle the same word over and over again, there is peace in the process.

Even if I then sit back and look at that repeated word and wonder if it is a word…

Let me have my pens and my paper. I need them.

So yes, smart angel, I have to write.

… I hope new visitors from SITS will stop by the links that I shared with Kat (reiterated below).

I also hope you’ll stop by again. You’ll find a new post every Wednesday, an excerpt from my novel every Saturday, and a rerun every Monday.

I welcome your support, and I look forward, too, to seeing what you have to write!

For more, go to:

The Distance From Our Corners addresses issues so many in the sandwich generation are concerned about.

Approaching Los Angeles is a piece that shares my reflections upon overhearing an in-flight conversation and wanting to butt in.

Too Many Machines is my homage to Dr. Seuss. I wrote it back in 1987, when the fax machine was the newest invention… I stand by my prescience.

77 comments:

Tina said...

Happy SITS day!

Lisa Ricard Claro said...

Nicely stated. You're spot on with KJ's quote, and I would say that is the difference between a hobby (want to) and a passion (have to). It is interesting how each of us is wired for certain things. I can't imagine not being able to write, but I know people who go to great lengths to avoid writing the way I avoid math. Maybe part of the difference is that our want-tos are external and our passions are internal.

Cindy said...

If all posts are as good as this one(which I'm sure they are) I'm hooked!
BTW I'm a doodle advocate too!;)
Have a great SITS day!
Cindy

Suzanne said...

Great post Katie! There are a few things in my life right now that I feel compelled to do and I think blogging is one of them! Congrats on your SITS day!

Kristen said...

congrats on your sits day!

outoftheextraordinary said...

Congratulations on your SITS day! I too remember the art of the written word--i.e.writing before it was actually words, just for the shape. Thank you for bringing that memory up, I will enjoy that today. :)

Have an Extraordinary Day!

Saucy B said...

I had to smile at you childhood story of pretending to write. Similarly, when I was a kid I had a toy typewriter and I used to pretend I was a reporter and type up my newspaper. My mom got a little concerned when my top story was someone who jumped off a bridge and was arrested for "unorthodox behavior." I guess even at 7 I knew if it bleeds it leads. haha
Happy SITS Day!

Waisting Time said...

Happy SITS day! Kate was my favorite angel. My whole life I have been told I write well. "You should write a book." Just the other day my husband suggested I try to write for money. But I suspect that if I write for a purpose, I won't enjoy it. So, I just keep blogging with no pressure but my own.

Angie said...

Happy SITS day! Such a beautiful relaxing blog here...love it!

Jules said...

Sits, a big yeehaw! I did the same thing with pen and paper. However, my punishment was always to write a 100 times, "I will not..." :)
Jules @ Trying To Get Over The Rainbow

Fresh Mommy said...

Happy SITS day!! I feel ya... I have those days too, where I have to write. Though it sounds to be even a little stronger for you, because I have days where I need a break too :) I love that the need started so young!! It's in you, girl!

~Tabitha

Jamee said...

Happy SITS day! Enjoy your day!

Luci Gabel said...

That's a lovely post. Happy SITS Day!!!
Going off to read some more.

Gaspegirl said...

Happy SITS day, make it a great one!

Cheryl D. said...

Yay, you! enjoy your SITS Day! I hope you have a fantastic day and meet many great people!

Debt Free said...

Happy SITs Day! Stopping by to visit and enjoy the blog.

SHARM said...

This is lovely My dream is to be a writer oneday. hope to come back soon and love your writing already.

The Empress said...

Hi.

I'm so glad SITS found you for us.

I read your favorite posts, and the writing there is the kind that instantly engages me.

I'm following now.

Encore Wifey said...

Congrats on your SITS day, I'm following you!!!

kitchenandkids.com said...

Happy SITS day!

Your blog is great! I will be checking back, and I am going to go look up your novel.

Amy

Hello! I'm Kate. said...

HAPPY SITS DAY!!!

misssrobin said...

I remember both Kate Jackson and Johnny Carson. I sure miss Johnny.

I feel the same way about writing. It's in my soul. I have so much to communicate. I am grateful to have been blessed with the words to do so.

Congratulations on your SITS day. I hope it's everything you wished for.

pdh said...

Congrats on your SITS day...how exciting!! I bet you're loving reading all the great comments.

I know EXACTLY what you mean about having a pen or other writing implement in hand. I just had to move this month and found, I kid you not, 20 boxes of crayons, markers, colored pencils, colored pens, pens/pencils all over my house. I would lose a box so I'd buy more...argh!! And then there's the paper. I found enough pads of paper to FILL a LARGE box...argh again!!

Savannah said...

Congrats on your SITS day!!! great blog!!!
http://chasingmynoah.blogspot.com/

Losing Brownies said...

Happy SITS day!!

Kristy said...

Congrats on your SITS day! Love it when I know the feature!

WhisperingWriter said...

Happy SITS Day to you :)

Amy said...

Congrats on your SITS day! I already adore your blog. I will be back again and again.

MarsupialMama said...

Happy SITS day!! I love the story about how when you were little the punishment for your sister would be no TV and for you it would be no paper or pens. I identify with the doodling bit as well, I remember pretending to write cursive even before I knew how to write. I was trying to imitate my brother (6 years older) and thought writing was really cool. Especially cursive writing.

Jacki said...

Congratulations and Happy SITS DAY! I love that quote from Kate Jackson (my favorite Charlie's Angel).

Tracy said...

Happy SITS Day!!! Love the message in this post. I've always loved to write as well, but was forced to take Sciences in University by my mother. I still took English, and after my first year, I was invited into the English Honours program, but had to decline. I wish I hadn't. I'm now pursuing my writing dream, and also not getting in the way of my daughter's dreams.

Tarja said...

I love that you quoted Kate Jackson. Hope you're enjoying your moment in the SITS sun - I look forward to checking out more of your site...

momof2 said...

Congratulations on your SITS day! I look foward to looking more into your writings.

New to following you also.
Danielle
www.DaniellePender.com

Nf1andprek-whisper said...

congrats on your sits day...

Shirley said...

Congratulations on your SITS day!

Ericka Clay said...

Love that you're the featured blogger because we have a lot in common. I'm currently trying to market my book and writing through my blog so I'm glad I've found your work. Wish you luck in your endeavors and I'll be checking in!

Lynn said...

Congratulations on your SITS day Katie!

jamie @ kreyv said...

Great blog! I should write more, you've inspired me!

Trish said...

Happy SITS day!

PeaceLoveApplesauce said...

Happy, Happy SITs Day!! =)

adventuresofaustingirl.com said...

I read your 'Approaching LA' post. OMG! Funny. It never fails. I always end up getting stuck in the middle seat. Urgh. You can meet some strangely interesting folks on an airplane. Happy SITS Day!!

Everyday Mama said...

Happy SITS Day! Love that you're a writer and not a "blogger." Your blog is a breath of fresh air. Love it!

Broot said...

Happy SITS day! :)

Margaret said...

Happy SITS Day. I love what I have seen of your blog! I am a new follower!

Sarah said...

I bet a good SITS day present would be a fancy new journal! Happy SITS day!

Grams said...

Great blog! I love your "from our corners" post. It's so hard to deal with the aging of our parents and our own limited resources. Been there, done that. There's no easy answer. We just do the best we can. Enjoy your SITS day.

The Lucky Wife said...

Hope you are enjoying your day! I "have" to check out your Dr. Seuss post. ;) My son has really enjoyed some of his books. :)

Big Red said...

I had my first written work read at a work shop Monday night with lots of great responses and ideas...I always had it in me but never did it...and years ago a gifted medium said that I had the life chart of a writer. I poo-pooed it because I was only an actor/singer. I HAVE to do all three now, and I think I can integrate all of them to my true path in life. Yes, I HAVE TO DO THIS. Dialogue pours through my mind at odd hours of the day, as if I am channeling it. I love it and will take this as far as I can.

Amy Layne said...

Congrats on your SITS day!

I feel the same way about putting a pen to paper! I will honestly doodle for hours. I find it so relaxing. Thanks for the post.

Amy Layne

Welcome to Adulthood said...

Happy SITS DAY!!! I love your writing style. It is no wonder you are a published author. You have tons of talent!

Betsy from three20 said...

wow, This was VERY well written.
I can completely relate. Sometimes I feel like I just HAVE to write; I need to feel the pen across a paper. When I was a kid, I kept countless notebooks of ramblings, stories, and silly things, just because I was so in love with words. In high school English literature, I fell even more in love as I wrote comparative essays and perfected my grammar. To this day, writing and expressing myself through words feels like I'm painting or creating some huge, expressive art piece. :)

Happy SITS day :)

Karen@StrictlySimpleStyle said...

What a great story about your childhood. We should all be so lucky to know what direction we want our lives to head at such a tender age.

Enjoy your SITS day, I know I enjoyed learning a little about you.

Mel said...

Been hanging around here reading this and that for at least an hour. I've buzzed hither and yon from one story to another like a bee in a flower garden. As always, I love your work, Katie. Congratulations on today's honor!

Lauren Michelle said...

Congratulations on your SITS day! I hope it was a good one. I saw the link to your novel and just checked it out on Amazon. It sounds really good. If you would like me to do a review (maybe even a giveaway (:) of the book on my blog, I would be more than happy to. Let me know what you think!

The Falconer's Wife said...

I really enjoy your writing style and had to laugh at your story about you and your sister. I had a similar one, except my punishment was to take away my book (I loved to read and didn't even mind getting grounded - more time to read!). Anyway, here I am reading and blogging and had to come over and congratulate you on your SITS day in the sun.

Sarah Ruth said...

Happy SITS day!!

http://sarahruthtoday.com

Deidre said...

I love that story you shared about having to write and like many people who blog, obviously relate to it A LOT.

cheers and Happy SITS day!

Donna B said...

Excellent point made my Kate Jackson. Very true.

Congratulations on your feature for SITS! You deserve it.

Amanda @ Ninth Street Notions said...

Happy SITS day! I loved the story and references. Congrats!

Me said...

I'm sorry I am so late commenting. Happy SITS Day! I am having a rough day so I hope you won't mind if I go through your blog more when I am not in such a foul mood :0)

Pearls said...

Happy SITS Day. This alone, is a great entry. I think writing is something I "have" to do and "want" to do. I appreciate your pointing out the difference. I will be following. Congrats on your novel, that is quite an achievement.

nmaha said...

I'll be really quick here because I'm dying to get to the posts dealing with your novels.

Happy happy SITS day.

CK said...

Oh, I can so relate about writing because you have to. Well said, well written!
-CK

dialoguewithyou said...

Congratulations on your SITS day :)
You have a wonderful blog here and I absolutely loved browsing around :)

deborahjbarker said...

Congratulations on your SITS day Katie.How many comments have you had here!!!!? I am with you on the 'have to write' thing. I refused to go anywhere without pen and paper as a child (yep, even to the swimming pool - well, you never know when they might be needed!)
Too Many Machines will remain one of my favourite posts ever - have I said that before? :-)

cj Schlottman said...

Katie!

Congratulations on our award from SITS. I didn't know it existed, but now I will be stopping by there.

This post is so, well, you. I got a mental picture of your very first "writings," and it made me smile. I could see you laboring over your "text." Well done, as usual. I feel privileged to be among your followers.

..........cj

toi said...

congrats for yesterday's special day :)

Grams said...

Katie, I am not able to reply to your email. When I completed the form for approval, I got an error message. I would love to read and review your book. You can contact me at vicki.valenta (at) gmail.com.

raindance said...

An important question for sure! And we seem to have been bitten by the same 'have to' bug at a young age - one of the first things i did was fill a marble notebook with 'writing'. yay scribbles!!!

Classy Career Girl said...

Happy SITS Day!

Anastasia said...

COngrats!

KDC Events said...

Happy SITS day! Sorry I am late to the party =)

Zella said...

I'm a bit late with my congrats as well, but I just stumbled upon SITS this weekend -- what a fabulous place -- just like your blog ! Looking forwawrd to reading more of you...

Deb Shucka said...

Congrats, Katie, on your well-deserved recognition. I relate exactly to the need to write, although for me reading was as strong a compulsion. And then I'd gather my brothers and pretend to teach them (or truth be told, threaten them into playing along).

Another really great post.

Jayne Martin said...

Congratulations, my friend. They couldn't have picked a more deserving writer to acknowledge.

I was a late bloomer. I didn't discover that I was a writer until I was almost 30 and then only through a rather circuitous route. As it turned out, it was probably for the best. I really didn't have much to say prior to that anyway.

Now you simply must switch your commenting system over to Disqus. You're going to want to have conversations with all your new friends.

Kudos to Katie!

mangiabella said...

well said bella, that is your God given gift, the fire burns inside of you, and if you don't do it, the fire will consume you.....congrats on your SITS day and looking forward to reading much more...

Cheryl said...

Sorry I'm so late for your SITS day. Been off the wall or out of the sphere (whichever seems appropos) for a few weeks.

Love love love this. I don't have a thing that I feel that way about except being outside watching the world. I love the passion folks have when they're called to something so strongly. Your passion is evident in every post you write.