When people talk about “writing” they often seem to mean “writing fiction”. Most of what I say when I talk about it can apply to writing fiction, but it also applies equally (or exclusively) to writing in general. Writing out an idea, a value, an opinion, a social commentary, etc. Sometimes I’m just talking about any writing, even private thoughts written haphazardly into a journal.
You see I’m not exactly accomplished in the creative department. I’ve got a few exceptionally clever poems under my belt and one or two pieces of flash fiction I was pleasantly surprised to see blossom into existence. But most of my writing currently is right here. Before that it was on discussion forums, which aren’t centered around one individual exclusively.
So when I think of writing on a schedule or think of it as a career…. well, one way of putting it is that I don’t really know what I’m thinking. I know I’ve got a little talent for it, and a lot of practice in other approaches outside of fiction or blogging. But while I’d love to get paid for it I really have to wonder about my ability to hack it as a professional writer.
As someone who could make enough money on it to eat and pay bills? The thought of it still leaves me with a stupid blank look on my face when it’s on my mind. It would feel like getting money for nothing, but only if I was already writing prolifically enough to comfortably meet the demands (contracts, obligations, etc.). If I’m not at that place naturally beforehand…
If I’m not churning out sellable work at a decent pace simply out of passion, because I enjoy the hell out of it then I have no idea how I would make a living with it. It would feel the same as everything else. Crushing, overly stressful, and unsatisfying. And I’m just nowhere near that yet. The closest I’ve come to so far is on the blog you’re reading right now.
Reaching a point where I write stories all the time too, not just the kind of writing that ends up here or in a notebook, would be the first step in making a career out of this. But I just don’t know if I’m that in love with storytelling. I know what makes an extraordinary author in my eyes, and I know what my life would look like if I got to that point. What I question is…
Do I truly have the passion to get there?
The constant expansions and growth here should lend me a bit of confidence. Or at least I feel like they should. I started writing here back in March or April of 2013, just a few posts, and it made for a decent start. For the short time I’ve actually been here letting things bleed out though, things have been going even better. It’s pretty much all upward.
There’s really no reason to think it won’t continue to be. No reason beyond a nagging, sneaky little shadow of doubt. A whisper… “you’ve accomplished plenty before, only to let it wither away to shit, then to dust.” I know it’s right too. My track record isn’t great. I also know I can let it ride with me and prove it wrong, but even still it whispers…
“Yeah, you can take me for a ride. Until you burn out and I win.”
I hate that little whisper, always hiding beneath the surface of my dreams and aspirations. Lurking beneath my arrogance. Tainting my confidence and imaginings. Things like this, the whispers and this post itself, are the kind of thing that make me feel like introspection is a total fucking waste of time. I don’t know why I wrote this, save to articulate my outlook on this.
A way to process it. Put it into words, bring it into focus. Everyone has doubts though, and I loath indulging mine. Any time I give them is more than they deserve. At least that’s the way I feel about it. In fact I almost wish I hadn’t written this post. Not quite, but almost. If it’s on my mind then I might as well write it… after all, I have to write.
I have to write something, even if it’s this.
Even so, this is getting posted first today because I don’t care for it. It’s not that I don’t want people to read it, to know that I’ve been there to, that even the greatest have been, that it’s nothing special. Nor is it a sign that you just suck. You might (I really couldn’t say), but the doubt probably doesn’t have anything to do with it one way or the other.
It’s going to be there in some form no matter who you are or how much you’ve accomplished. So read this, and know that. The only reason I want to bury it beneath more worthwhile posts is my own discomfort with it. I don’t like doubts or uncertainties, I don’t like the little bastard children it produces (e.g. this post), and I don’t want it to be the newest post for to long.
It can be on my site, just not at the top where I’m reminded of it every time I bring it up on my web browser. I want to forget about it. Because it’s not as important as other things. Doubts are never worth dwelling on. They’re nothing in comparison to hopes or actions. I’m not exactly proud of being so skilled in the art of needlessly dwelling…
I’m just not ashamed of it either, or unwilling to acknowledge it.
That’s the only reason I’m publishing this post.