From Muse to Movement

white notebook and pen

Most days, I find myself garbed in the familiar armor of the unassuming writer: a once vibrant t-shirt paired with ripped leggings or jeans or an old summer dress, all now graced with the battle scars of time. Within the intimacy of my writing sanctuary, I’ve authored countless scribblings birthed from the depths of my imagination. 

I’m often perceived as a perpetual pajama-clad hermit living in a cozy fortress of solitude. But, this a fanciful illusion that shrouds the true essence of the writer’s craft. Whenever I do I stray far from the familiar confines of the keyboard, I find myself venturing forth into the vast unknown. All the while, my heart and mind are delicately tuned to catch the subtle whispers of the world as I pass on through. It’s in these ephemeral moments, these fleeting encounters with the sublime, my writer’s palette and creative wellspring are replenished.

Like those who labor as cogs in the nine-to-five machine, as I once did myself, I’m still too bound to the rhythmic cadence of morning rituals and daily exertions. For years, like many of my fellow writers, I’d juggle the myriad demands of regular jobs with my creative excursions. My prose and poetry would be carved from stolen moments amidst the ebb and flow of life’s tidal waves. Much of what I work with today has its foundations in humble, often overlooked, and under-appreciated beginnings.

On a daily basis, I find myself most fascinated with the mundane and the extraordinary, my eyes ever watchful and ever curious. The writing process is as diverse and multifaceted as the stories I have to tell, defying the two-dimensional caricature of the pajama-clad wordsmith. The solemn duty of a writer is to teach as well as to learn, to engage and uplift, and I wear this mantle with conviction.

It’s taken considerable blood, sweat, and tears to remind myself that I’m much more than a mere silhouette hunched over a keyboard. As a freelance writer, I felt my soul tethered to the ethereal realm of cyberspace. A thriving writing enterprise is often nothing more than a pipe dream, so my craft demands that I pursue a diversity of topics and fields in my endeavors. I must always have new opportunities on the back burner, forever simmering to allow my essays and imaginative scribblings to be nurtured and to blossom in time.

For too long, I tried to cast aside the veil of romantic idealism and embrace the unyielding pragmatism of the business-minded scribe. But, to write for my sustenance, with the gilded promise of monetary reward, I found my words growing ever more hollow. I was no longer free to write what I saw, but rather what I was told others thought they wanted to read.

I long believed it was an inexorable truth that our literary dreams must, at times, be tethered to the earthbound realities of life. But, no, the true character of a writer is captured in the words that she writes without regret, those things that must be said. Even if I must pursue other side hustles to make ends meet, I’ll make due. As my writing has evolved, it has taken on a divine, spiritual grandiosity that can’t be diminished by the capitalistic or materialistic; it must rise above mere characters on a page and become entwined with the thoughts and feelings of my readers.

The words that ultimately grace your eager eyes are often birthed from fleeting moments of inspiration. As I traverse the byways of my daily sojourns, the glowing screens of my smartphone and laptop computer are my ever-present companions. These technological marvels serve as conduits for unbridled creativity for when it arrives. My prose has come quite far from the ink-stained echoes of the hurried scribbles and whimsical doodles adorning the pages of spiral-bound notebooks and the margins of scrap paper. 

While my craft transitioned almost exclusively to the digital realm, it can never lose the spirit of spontaneity and wild youth if I so will it. I’ve managed to keep the ravenous wolves of reality at bay as my dreams take flight.  I’ll trust in the words as long as I live, because they haven’t failed me yet.

It’s entirely possible that I’ll toil endlessly to reach the elusive nirvana of a writing career unencumbered by the shackles of quotidian responsibilities. Indeed for many bards and scribes, the act of writing serves as a passionate side hustle to nourish the soul while stoking the flames of ambition. For me, the writing is all I care about any longer; it’s all that drives me to continue a daily cycle of pondering, musing, and reflecting. I’m at a point in my life where I can be perfectly content to be a mere phantom in the moment. I’ve become a wraith-like entity flitting about the digital domain, here to remind those willing to listen that the art is all that matters, not the reward.

Perhaps I shall never be as fortunate those among us who have forged kingdoms from the fertile soil of the blogosphere, their musings and meanderings the very lifeblood of their daily bread. But, I’m content to sit back and watch. I now realize that by giving into capitalistic dreams, I’d just be denying the best parts of myself, necessarily indulging in the frivolity of social media while weaving tales of inconsequence. I’ve never been any good at winning popularity contests, My writing is what it is, and I will not alter it for likes, views, comments, shares, or any other social currency that has no intrinsic value beyond nebulous social proof.

My written voice is all that forms the bridge connecting me to the world beyond my writing implements. We’re all pilgrims on the grand journey of life, our steps guided by the same passions and desires that drive the hearts of all humanity. I write to remind you, my dear readers, that you are as much a part of the vibrant canvas of existence as any other denizen of this mortal coil. Even as my readership ebbs and flows, I know that someone out there is listening, and I must give others the chance to discover what I have to say.

Because of the familiarity and cadence of my words, I find relief in the sanctity of my chosen vocation, quietly surrendering to the call of the muse. Don’t let the humble attire of the writer deceive you, for beneath the veneer of these faded pajamas beats the heart of a dreamer, a seeker, and a chronicler of the human experience. Until my dying breath, I’ll keep immortalizing the ephemeral and giving voice to the voiceless.

~ Amelia Desertsong

Amelia Desertsong is a former content marketing specialist turned essayist and creative nonfiction author. She writes articles on many niche hobbies and obscure curiosities, pretty much whatever tickles her fancy.
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