Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Profession: Writer (Day 138 KEDfaY)

Ever since I was a little kid, I've been writing. I've written comics about ducks and teenage crime fighters. I've written stories about shadow people and elves. I've written about personal memories and things that are hard to talk about. It's one of those things that I've always done and never thought much about it. Sometimes I would dream about writing a novel or a comic or a memoir but most of my writing was term papers and assignments for class. After graduating and leaving school, I still wrote, mostly Tweets and half formed ideas for a possible essay later on. I've changed my mind about what I want to be when I grow up and I still haven't really decided what I want to do but one thing I always do is write.

Writing has a wonderful way of helping you solve problems and show you what you were too afraid to face.

I have scads of essays that were started and never finished or lines that I thought sounded interesting to be saved for a later date. Sometimes I go back to them and try to finish them but more often than not they get ignored.

I fantasized about being a writer when I was younger. I thought that I was fully capable of stringing together a string of words and make them sound halfway interesting. As I grew older I thought better of it because it's hard work and not many people find their audience. True, I write for me but I also write because I think I'm interesting enough to be heard, even if that does sound narcissistic.

I'm still trying to figure out what to do with my life. I have a halfass assembled set of skills that aren't really marketable for any job that exists right now. So I've been writing.

I know my blog posts are sometimes short and sweet and seem more like to-do lists than any semblance of narrative or vignette or anything remotely literary. Writing is hard. As one writer said, writing is easy. Just sit at a typewriter, open your veins and bleed. Replace typewriter with computer and you have me. I love to write. It's in my blood, as it were, and yet it's one of the most exhausting things to do. It's tough being that creative and not getting distracted by the shiny aspects of the internet.

But I've been writing. Sure my blog posts haven't always been the most illuminating or exciting but I don't share everything I write. I've got tons of pages and Word documents and Post It notes to back it up. I've spent the evening going back and reading finished essays, half started ideas and ones I decided best kept as a string of random thoughts. I do this from time to time to remember that I do love writing. I love sharing my stories and my idea of a witty anecdote. I like to read my old essays that I've forgotten I'd even written and fix them and edit them even though the assignments have long since been graded and I don't really know what to do with besides move them from hard drive to hard drive, the band of roving gypsies that are my essays.

Today, an essay I wrote and got paid for was published online. I don't know what did it, what clicked, but tonight I feel like I went from "unemployed" and "trying to figure things out" to "writer." This is honestly the first time in a very long time that I haven't felt helpless when debating my future.

I write all of this and then a friend of mine writes a tweet that's more beautiful than anything I've written in years. Bastard.


I knit today, too.

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