Navel Gazing Meta Blogging BS
Feel free to skip this. It’s really not about anything, it might not even make sense. But writing is cheaper than therapy and my therapist probably has an 8 week wait for an appointment anyway. So. I’ve been thinking about being a writer. And being a novelist. And being a published novelist. And how I don’t know how to do any of those things except put words together and maybe that just isn’t enough.
Maybe a person needs more than a little talent to get a book published.
I have always thought of writing as my passion. The thing I am supposed to do. The thing God put me on earth to be. But then…I think more, about how I wasn’t remotely interested in a career in publishing or editing or journalism or anything remotely related to writing. I wanted to be a writer, but I put no extraordinary effort into learning how, exactly, to do that. I set deadlines for myself and missed them. I signed up for challenges and programs to help me finish my book and quit working on it. I rebelled against my own desire to the point that I have to wonder if it really is my desire, or just an assumption I made somewhere along the way. Writer = novelist = published novelist= riches, fame, beach houses.
I had already begun deconstructing the equation, letting go of the outcomes. I was down to writer = novelist.
What if writer = whatever the hell it is I feel like writing in the moment?
What if there is a better reason to write novels than realizing the dream of a beach house? What if there are many paths to a beach house? What if a beach house is so much more trouble than it’s worth that I wouldn’t want it once I had it? (Not likely)
And then I was invited to a meeting last week, and I met extraordinary people doing amazing work in the field I have worked in for the last 13 years and I thought hey, I have good ideas and I do amazing work. Public health could be..might be…is? my passion. I have loved pretty much every moment I have done this work and I just had to ask myself – why are you resisting this? Why do you keep calling yourself a writer but not writing what you think you should be writing? Why can’t you just surrender to what you love, even if it’s not what you thought it was going to be?
So I am letting go. I’m letting myself not worry about novels. I’m looking at all the things I would need to do to go back to school for public health. I’m paying attention to how good it feels to do my work, to do my job, and letting it be ok that I might always have 3 unfinished novels on my hard drive. I’ll write poems and little prose pieces and whatever when I want to. But I am surrendering the fantasy that I will make a living from my words.
I’m Being Shannon, and it feels really, really good.