I want to be a writer. It’s all I’ve ever really wanted to be. I want to write wonderfully imaginative works of fiction, and yes, despite the advice of every writer’s workshop I’ve ever attended or writing book I’ve ever read sagely telling me to write solely for the sake of writing, then I want those wonderfully imaginative works of fiction to sell.
I was thinking earlier today about this job for which I have a preliminary phone interview on Friday. The job is located in a remote area of the state that to my knowledge (which is limited having never been within a few hundred miles of it) boasts a whole lot of nothing save a military installation, a Walmart, and a crystal meth problem. It’s a place no sane gay person would move to. Maybe no sane person, period.
So, I was thinking about the possibility of moving there and the thought went through my mind–as though it made complete sense–well, I’ll just use the time I’m living there to write a book, which is what I really want to be doing anyway. It surprised me. I didn’t just spend three years in an MFA program. That’s not the work I just invested a whole lot of money, time, energy, a failed relationship, and two major moves to do. It’s not the career I’m hoping to get started. That it’s still ‘what I really want to be doing anyway’ might be the truth, but if it is, I’m not sure it’s one I’m ready to accept.
Which is not to say that I can’t write and start this new career even if–please for the love of all that is holy in this world–I get the job I’m interviewing for on Monday in the town I actually want to live in. Of course I can also write. But the thing is, I don’t write. Aside from these posts, I don’t write. I’ve known on some level for years that writing is all I really want to do. I don’t know why it terrifies me so much that even now I want to fix myself another bowl of ice cream and crawl back into the urban fantasy novel I’m reading until I forget I even had the thought. It scares me so much it actually keeps me from writing. I’ve known this for almost fifteen years. I haven’t written more than a couple paragraphs of fiction here or there (amounting to maybe a handful of pages) in all that time.
It’s my dream. It’s the only real dream I have. And everyday I make absolutely no effort toward it.
I could live with myself if I knew I was trying and I failed. If I write and no one wants to read it or buy it or sell it, that’s beyond my ability to control. But if I just never write…how do I live with myself if I’m not trying? When I’m not trying. Even tonight. Even after writing this, the truth is, I’m going to walk my dog, put on my pajamas, and go to bed with my book, not having written another single word. How do I not hate myself for that?