I have fantasized about becoming a writer recently. I don’t know if it’s quitting smoking (again.) and the fact that nicotine has drained from my body and I need somewhere to channel that pent up stress, or what, but I started this thing the other day where I was like imagining how great it would be to be a writer. How I would be fabulously fascinating, and how I would make J.K.-Rowling-money and finally everybody in the world would appreciate me for who I am.
So, motivated by greed or ego, or an incipient laziness, I thought about it for the last week or so. Here are the reasons I should become an author:
1. I can write….Ta-da!!! No, but, seriously, I have written publications in my name. Not for profit, but still.
2. All my life people have told me I am a good writer. And my Mom, my sister, my aunt, my co-workers…wait. Those are all people that love me.
3. I could use the money.
4. I am not good at anything else, and I can’t get paid to read all day and drink DP and eat popcorn, now can I?
5. I feel that, though it may not be very funny, or entertaining, I have a story to tell.
1. My publications were in professional ESL journals, and had to be about as entertaining as the proverbial drying paint. That’s good, because I didn’t spend a whole lot of time on their entertaining aspect, I just wanted my advisor off my back. And I was told that 3 publications would get me somewhere in the world, that they would be a tremendous boost to my resume, that M.A. candidates almost never publish, so this extra hard work for nothing should pay off dividends in a future job. They haven’t. At. All.
Now they seem like some kind of conceit, a bragging tool, like That Guy we all know, with a paunch and a chronic beer-hand, who brags about his college football days.
Honestly. Who gives a fuck.
…well, I do, and I wouldn’t ever throw away my copies of the journals, and it’s still thrilling years later to see my name in print. But quietly and without fanfare.
2. I distinctly remember being put off by my undergraduate creative writing teacher in college, but I also know I was going though a low point in life, and maybe that’s why all of that “writing” sucked. I haven’t read any of it in years. Probably because I am ashamed of it and I know it sucked. Maudlin crap, it is. So he was right.
Maybe I can’t write, and my friends and family were either paying me a complment, and I glommed on to it desperately, or they don’t know any better. Hmm. I think the first option is more likely.
3. Yeah. Still could use the money. But I will never make J.K.-Rowling-money. Ever. But I bet she thought that, too. But one of us has to be right, and she already has her money, so there.
4. This one burns. Because I have a degree that, if anything, has made me less eligible for a job I want, has wasted years of my life, and cost me thousands of dollars, but God wanted me to meet Tony, so here I am. OK, I have my EW job, and I enjoy it, and the hours are good, but seriously, I need to start making more money. I am ashamed but grateful that Tony paid the cable bill under the rug this month. I can’t even do that much for him. But he does so much like that for me.
Shame.shame.shame. Grateful, inexpressably. Shame.shame.shame.
Smart woman, she’s just useless.
5. Still have a story to tell, and I write this and think…maybe there is someone else out there like me, or with a daughter/sister/wife like me, or something, and maybe I can help them feel less alone…But on the other hand, maybe I am the only one. Hmm. Or I can’t write anything remotely meaningful. I have a way of forgetting the past, and being fuzzy on chronology and mixing up eras, but I get most of it straight, but nothing I write would be very autobiographical, b/c I can’t remember more than gestures of my life. Verbatim? Rarely.
I get so jealous of his friends sometimes, with their inexpensive bachelor’s degrees and their pretty clothes, and their husbands who own their own businesses, and their furniture-shopping and their non-addiction to nicotine friends (I miss you guys so much) and especially their new houses.
Lalala, we bought the one down the street from Ryan who bought the one down the street from Paul, and we’re all going to move in and start having babies la-ti-dah.
And I get so angry at myself for having wasted my best baby-making years on a man who never had the gumption to leave a small town in Oklahoma, and whom, I hope is one day successful for his own sake, but who had the balls to hire a lawyer and extend the divorce proceedings another six months unnecessarily.
Almost 30, no baby, no house, no husband (but a great potential one!!!), no fucking PROFESSION where I can make enough money to pay my damn cable bill, nothing I had on my list as a sixth grader when I planned this world I would be in. I lived my whole life, people backing away from me in awe and sometimes fear, saying I would be someone someday. Now all they can say is “Aww…”