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How I Ought To Be As A Writer
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How I Ought To Be As A Writer
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How I Ought To Be As A Writer
There are two characters here: Good girl, who is the do-er and Bad Girl, who is the Procrastinator.
GG: I am a writer.
BG: I am not a COMPLETE writer, you mean.
GG: I have written some things but nothing special.
BG: But not ENOUGH.
GG: I am on my way!
BG: Your way is taking much too long (voice drips with sarcasm).
GG: Stop saying that! I am trying, I am doing the best I can, right?
BG: Your best is not good enough. Thatís why I think you should take a break. For maybe a day or two or three or four or five or six or seven. I mean, youíre not Sophia Loren for goodness sake. Youíre not some goddess whose dreams are going to magically happen overnight. You are just you, a nobody, someone no wants to know. Deal with it. I mean, itís completely arrogant to think that out of six billion people in the world, that people would read a beginner writerís work, taste your words, savor in your surprises, disappointments, rejections, highlights, advances and setups. What makes you think of putting your name and standout in the same sentence?
GG: Hey, I like the way I write, sometimes. And when I donít, sometimes Iíll stop and read a book or go see a movie and celebrate the rejection Iím about to receive. Then, Iíll start again and again and write crap. But then, Iíll just look at it and play with the words until they sound write. Even if Iím in a room full of people, it sounds right to me and theyíre half-way paying attention, then Iím okay.
BG: You mean, writing from the heart? Sounds romantic but it doesnít pay the bills.
GG: It is romantic. Life is romantic, especially the would-be writer. Itís like a relationship. Itís the thrill of the chase or being chased after. Thatís the fun part. Itís the journey from beginning to end.
BG: Yeah, I guess but the ending is so bogus. What do you do? Start over again. Sounds like a chore, like washing the dishes. Yuck! No, itís like homework. Something you have to do and thatís why youíre not a real writer: Blind optimism. Youíd be better off in politics. Me, I have to know where Iím going.
GG: Who knows where I am going to end up at? I canít predict anything, all I can do is love the words on the page and the language and everything that makes me feel good and go from there. I may not ever get rid of you but thatíd be worse than getting rid of me and my hopes and dreams. As long as I finish, you will always be second to me, right?
BG: Who said anything about second place? I didnít even know there was one!
GG: Umm, yeah. Second place means settling. Accepting less than what you deserve.
BG: So, are you saying that Iím holding you back? I didnít force you to stop writing. Didnít force you to take other peopleís comments to heart? Didnít force you to publish the first piece of crap that comes to mind? Where is my gun? I donít have one. Oh, no! If anyone is to blame, itís you!
GG: Me? Youíve GOT to be kidding me!
BG: No, Iím serious. Blaming other people, making excuses, itís all a part of the rose-colored glasses you wear in your failure to accept your vision.
GG: I donít think I looked at anything in my life quite that way. Maybe youíre right. I need to stop trying to make myself into something Iím not and just accept that Iím okay with how I write. Thereís room in the universe for me and even you too. After all, whoís going to tell be the negative force in my life that engages me and keeps me on my toes?
BG: That would be me.
GG: And whoís going to welcome distraction in my life to keep me from burning out?
BG: That would be me.
GG: And whoís going to help me to write by creating this obstacle course in my brain That I must complete. Kind of like when I was in fourth grade? *Cries* I must, I must do something with my bust. Oh, what is the damn line? Iím getting Judy Blume flashbacks!
BG: Get over yourself.
GG: Yeah, sit and spin. Anyway, where was I? Oh, thatís right! I decree that my life is filled with not listening to other people but instead just following my inner-guide.
BG: That sounds terrible. Cocky. Wimpy. Cowardly.
GG: Oh, thatís not what I meant. What I mean is getting to a place where Iím following my passions and writing. More than yoga, more than calling a psychic, more than winning the lottery. Caring about nothing else except learning and reading and writing and moving forward. That my friend is the greatest self-gift for the would-be writer.
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© 2009 Piper Davenport
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