“How I know I’m a writer: When I sleep, I wake to write; when I dream, I rouse to write; when I eat, I hunger to write; when I drink, it’s my thirst to write; and when I write, I write and write and write…until my Muse grows weary of the beating it takes from every keystroke.”
~ Nonnie Jules
Tune in to the RAVE WAVES BlogTalkRadio show, ASPIRE TO INSPIRE where this post is the topic of a lively discussion. This is a production of Rave Reviews Book Club.
Once again, I turn to my close friend and colleague’s collection of original quotes, Quotes By Nonnie, for this gem about the passion of writing. Not only is Nonnie Jules the founder and President of Rave Reviews Book Club, but she is also an excellent writer. She is a published author of two popular and helpful non-fiction titles, an exciting novel, as well as a book of love poetry that she co-authored earlier this year! In this quote selection, Nonnie speaks to us about the writer that lurks within.
In a former life, I taught high school students for thirty-five years, and over the course of those years I evaluated thousands of History essays, reports, tests and examinations. It wasn’t hard to spot the good writers in my classes because they stood out like sore thumbs! In casual conversations with those students, I discovered that they were also avid readers. I didn’t need scientific studies to tell me that there is a correlation between reading and writing well. Nonnie Jules absolutely adores books and it shows in the works that she pens.
There are many people who write well, but very few of those actually become writers as Nonnie Jules describes herself in this passage. Writing is a skill that a writer must have and continue to develop. But all the skill in the world will not make me or you a writer. Nonnie doesn’t set out the parameters that would define me or you as a writer; but she does put her finger on the elements within her that make her a writer.
Look carefully at the images she uses: waking to write, dreaming and rousing to write, hunger to write and thirst to write. Each image speaks to one of our physical needs. Clearly, Nonnie is not talking about how she likes to write because it keeps her entertained. Nor is she speaking about a mere hobby. Now go to the next clause and behold the repetitive use of the word write… there is urgency in these words! For Nonnie Jules, Author, there is an emotional/psychological need to share her ideas and stories through the written word.
I can readily identify with every word she wrote here. When I sit down to write, it is because I am driven to do it – not because someone wants to buy my next book – but because I need it. I also know the frustration she suffers when her need to write is strong but her work with the club, her publishing business and her fatigue conspire against her. Our circumstances are not identical, but I too, know the vexation of not having the time when the need to write continues to gnaw away in my subconscious until I can ignore it no longer.
“… and when I write, I write and write and write… until my Muse grows weary of the beating it takes from every keystroke.”
Finally, Nonnie personifies her Muse growing weary because of the urgency of Nonnie’s act of writing. For the ancient Greeks and Romans, the Muses were the goddesses of inspiration – in literature and in other fields as well. As I said earlier, Nonnie doesn’t get to unleash her ideas at the keyboard very often, so when it happens… her Muse takes a beating! Most writers I’ve talked to believe in the concept of a personal Muse. For some, it is a mental construct – a spiritual thing. For others, it is a real person in their life who ignites them with fire in their gut and the energy to create.
Make no mistake, a writer’s talent is a gift. A writer’s skill is acquired. A writer’s need… it is just that, a need. Without that final ingredient, there is no passion. A text that reflects no passion, will maintain little interest, and will benefit no one. Nonnie Jules is passionate about reading, teaching, sharing, supporting, writing… and loving people. She lives passionately and that’s what makes her a great writer. I am blessed by her friendship and I learn from her example as a man and as a writer.