Friday, April 19, 2013

Maybe...I'm not a writer...?

                My mom never allowed us to “quit.” No matter what you start you finish it. “It” builds character.
                As much as I like writing for a local agency, every year about this time I think I should resign but reason directs me to hold onto the gig. It puts gasoline in the tank of my car. Sometimes it puts food on the table. It’s not a day job. But it gives me a little spending money.
                I’ve been writing a long time. Some days it’s all that I do, perhaps too many of my hours and days. I’m sitting here asking myself a whole lot of questions…like, “What EVER gave me the idea that I am a writer with some important things to say?” Maybe The Man is right. Maybe I should give up on my writing, too. How many times has he said he gave up on my writing a long time ago?
                The work on Ramblings, my thesis novel, is slow and difficult. Literary in nature, I feel like it’s a ball and chain that holds me down. Heavy. It’s heavy. Wasn’t The Dollmaker heavy, too? But such a good story!
                Yesterday I decided I needed to work on something fun. I started a novel for submission to Harlequin. I have written four chapters. But…why do I feel like all of my stories are worthless drivel?
                I emailed my friend, Jay. “Maybe I’m not a writer,” I say. “Maybe I should just go get a job with a paycheck and work until I die.” That’s what The Man wants me to do.
                Jay wrote back, “OK, now! Let’s back up. You ARE a writer because you have written many articles, romance stories and started novels…” These were things good to hear, but some other words stand out…”I believe in you.”
                But…maybe I am the one who has to believe in me. What is my problem? My personal life is overwhelming my writing life. How can creativity bust out all over when personal issues are in the way? How do other writers handle this?
                Must be time to go somewhere…away…not, here where everything is right under my nose and I can’t do a gazillion things and write, too.
                Some days I think, “Maybe I’m not really a writer.” What if I know I can’t really achieve those lofty goals. God knows enough people have rolled their eyes or found it difficult to look at me when I announce my goals, “Pulitzer” and “Nobel in Literature.”  What if these are just dreams that I hold onto even though I know I can’t really achieve them? Is that what Doris Lessing thought when she was writing? She didn’t go to college. She didn’t even finish high school. But she wrote a body of works that earned her the Nobel in Literature in 2007.

© 2013 Cathy Thomas Brownfield ~ ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

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