Stuck between words and numbers.
(The following was inspired by a tweet by @laradavid. ”I wonder if I’ll ever write a book. I kind of want to, but also am kind of lazy. Tell me I’m not the only one like that, right?”.)
Ask anyone who has ever known me well at any point in my life.
Ask them what I wanted to be when I grew up (or perhaps when I grow up).
They’d have one answer: a writer.
And they’d be right.
Writing the Great American Novel became my dream when a short story won acclaim from my fourth grade teacher. Later, I flirted with the idea of being a sportswriter or a staff writer at Sassy or a comedy writer at Saturday Night Live.
Oh sure, at age ten, I decided I wanted to be a fashion designer; and at thirteen, a meteorologist (a scientist, not the type on television newscasts); and at twenty-seven, a nurse. Even amongst all those desires, “writer” of some sort still remained my main goal.
So how did I end up an accounting clerk? Crunching numbers instead of playing with words? A little bit of laziness and a whole lot of luck upon graduating from college, I suppose. Whether that was good luck or bad luck, I don’t know. What I do know is that I feel the “playing with words” part of me slipping further and further away.
I look at what I’ve written here over the past four years. In the early days, I see a decent writer, maybe not Great American Novel decent, but maybe staff writer at Sassy decent. In more recent days, I see nothing but a diary of a grown-up angsty teenager.
Something needs to change. Perhaps it means dusting off the pile of writing exercise books to get back to writing fiction or at least better quality creative non-fiction. Or maybe it means setting appointments within my busy schedule to write meaningful blog posts. Or. or. or.
I know there’s still a decent writer inside somewhere. Where did she go?
Posted on August 3, 2009, in Writing. Bookmark the permalink. 6 Comments.
I’ve thought about writing a book too, but I’m lazy, and it seems like so many people write books, I don’t think I have anything to contribute that would… well… be a real contribution. Occasionally though, like as recent as last week, someone tells me I should write a book, so the thought is always there, somewhere between the thoughts that I should dust the living room, or donate those clothes I no longer wear, or unpack my suitcase from BlogHer…
Speaking of contributions, I have nothing to add but my sincerest empathy.
well, Lee Ann, you SHOULD write a book. :)
I’m glad to have inspired some thought, and maybe even some future action. It’s rough, though, trying to get up and get the mind cranking to make that wordplay happen. But the more we try, the more often we will end up succeeding, right?
I appreciate the comment that set all this off. I tell you, I was thinking about it all day Monday. And still am.
It’s all about practice and discipline, using your space here not just to purge, but to really write. Write about what you’re seeing and feeling in detail. Use the elements of craft–show not tell, metaphor. Revise before you post. Practice here. Your readers will be forgiving.
That’s the hardest part – having enough time to revise, I think. Or feeling that I don’t have enough time to do so. Something to work on, I suppose. (Is it better to write only 2-3 times a week with better quality? Probably.)