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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. That�s 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, you�re not Sophia Loren for goodness sake. You�re 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, it�s completely arrogant to think that out of six billion people in the world, that people would read a beginner writer�s 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 don�t, sometimes I�ll stop and read a book or go see a movie and celebrate the rejection I�m about to receive. Then, I�ll start again and again and write crap. But then, I�ll just look at it and play with the words until they sound write. Even if I�m in a room full of people, it sounds right to me and they�re half-way paying attention, then I�m okay.
BG: You mean, writing from the heart? Sounds romantic but it doesn�t pay the bills.
GG: It is romantic. Life is romantic, especially the would-be writer. It�s like a relationship. It�s the thrill of the chase or being chased after. That�s the fun part. It�s 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, it�s like homework. Something you have to do and that�s why you�re not a real writer: Blind optimism. You�d be better off in politics. Me, I have to know where I�m going.
GG: Who knows where I am going to end up at? I can�t 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 that�d 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 didn�t even know there was one!
GG: Umm, yeah. Second place means settling. Accepting less than what you deserve.
BG: So, are you saying that I�m holding you back? I didn�t force you to stop writing. Didn�t force you to take other people�s comments to heart? Didn�t force you to publish the first piece of crap that comes to mind? Where is my gun? I don�t have one. Oh, no! If anyone is to blame, it�s you!
GG: Me? You�ve GOT to be kidding me!
BG: No, I�m serious. Blaming other people, making excuses, it�s all a part of the rose-colored glasses you wear in your failure to accept your vision.
GG: I don�t think I looked at anything in my life quite that way. Maybe you�re right. I need to stop trying to make myself into something I�m not and just accept that I�m okay with how I write. There�s room in the universe for me and even you too. After all, who�s 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 who�s going to welcome distraction in my life to keep me from burning out?
BG: That would be me.
GG: And who�s 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? I�m getting Judy Blume flashbacks!
BG: Get over yourself.
GG: Yeah, sit and spin. Anyway, where was I? Oh, that�s 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, that�s not what I meant. What I mean is getting to a place where I�m 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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