Inspiring writers series Astrid ANn Larsen

Now that I’m through writing and editing (more or less) that endless story of mine (does everyone who writes that first novel have the same feeling that it’s like a baby that just will never get out of your womb?), it feels strange to think that at some point in my life I wasn’t spending this much time on one of my main passions.

Because, to be honest, it took me a long long time to realize that what I was doing to earn my daily bread wasn’t exactly filling me with joy. Which was ok, as it was never what I had expected anyway. Or at least, not since quite some time. It wasn’t that life had made me sour or impassionate. Yet somehow, once childhood lost its glamour and sparkle, once I had gone through the first difficult trials of young adulthood and started a routine life juggling between work, household, kids and paying bills, the last piece of glitter and glamour had lost its way and it seemed “normal” to feel this way. Impassionate, incomplete, running day after day on that same track without ever stopping and asking myself whether this was what really made me happy. Of course, I had to be, I thought. I was super lucky with the job I got quite early on after finishing University. I got my children very young compared to other women around me and was lucky enough to enjoy much quality time with them, or at least with the first one. We’ve managed to work our way up and have a beautiful house, a garden, and everything we need to be happy.

But all these years while I built my family and career life, I knew something was missing. And as I watch my children grow, I realize, that it was there all along. The feeling that you could achieve anything in life and be whatever and whoever you wanted to be. That you could create things, without the fear of anyone laughing at you or asking: “Why the hell are you wasting time even trying?”

And more and more I discovered that I had lots of passions, and the moment I unlocked the trap door to that cellar filled with gems of imagination and creativity, it just wouldn’t stop. You see, the thing is, I don’t have only one passion. That would be too easy and I could concentrate on just one single thing. I have lots of passions. I love writing, sewing, knitting, creating designs, imagining niche market products… so since that moment where I opened that trap door for good, my head has been restless vibrating with ideas and images.

It took me ages to rip off that door and throw it out of my house. And I’m never going to nail it back into place, because that would be the worst thing that I could do to my soul and mind. I’ve never been happier in my life. I might be slightly exhausted and overwhelmed by trying to get all my projects done in time, but I’m more balanced than ever and work problems don’t nag at me day and night, causing cramps in my chest and my stomach to knot up all the time to the point of being constantly sick.

But I didn’t get there on my own. What got me to that point, was reading. Reading about experiences from peers. Listening to advice from people who had been there before. But also simply reading novels. Beautiful and rich novels. Simple stories. Deep stories. Life changing stories. Entertaining stories.

In my following posts, I’d like to pay tribute to these writers that made this happiness come true, made me believe in myself and made me feel ok with not being a complete star at my first try. And made me understand that it is ok to do something for your own happiness without feeling guilty.

Thank you to all of you. Thank you Stephen King, Janet Evanovich, Jojo Moyes, Charlaine Harris, Elizabeth Gilbert, Khaled Hosseini and many many more. Without your inspiring words and your creations, I’d never even have dared open that door.

Knock down that door and set your inspiration free