Being True to Me
Since elementary school, I have wanted to be full-time writer. While I have an interest in different forms, from reporting to dramatic writing, I always view writing as a way to inform and educate a mass audience. I don't see the same divisions between reporting and creative writing that my professors saw. In fact, it's clear that journalism is changing... and a lot of great reporters did write with a creative flair before the 1970s.
I'm not even sure what I will do with my degree. It's supposed to open doors, in theory. "I have Ph.D form a writing / communications program. You should publish me." Okay, maybe that's not the exact pitch, but it was meant to help. Plus, in theory it gives me the ability to teach -- thereby funding my writing time.
Honestly, I want to sit and write. I want to string words together in such a manner as to have an effect on people.
I do need an editor or at least an assistant to drag me along. I need deadlines -- and I'm lousy at keeping those myself. I do write a lot more than I recall, with dozens of completed projects I forgot about over time. The problem is that I need someone who can keep me on task, on specific projects, and then help package them.
I thought I didn't write when we lived in California. It turns out, while I did write a lot less poetry I was still writing other things. Plus, I still wrote more poetry than I recalled. In other words, I'm always writing more than I realize. I'm writing constantly and just don't think about it as writing.
Stage plays, short stories, and poems. It turns out I've been writing thousands of words every few months. The problem is that I write bits and pieces, often writing "inserts" for works but never merging the various files. Lots of words sit disorganized on my hard drive, wanting to be united into stories.
I am a writer. I have written that simply statement numerous times. When I try to do anything else, I'm miserable. The more I think about it, it isn't the writing that is a challenge to me -- it's the organizing, editing, and eventual marketing. I used to think it was the writing I hated, a talent I had but did not want. The truth is something deeper. It's that I like to write, but I dread whatever comes next after writing.
From this moment on, I really do need to find a way to make writing my focus. I've made that promise to myself before though, only to get distracted and slip into the mindset that I needed a "real career" to support myself. The problem is, those "real careers" just result in failure because I hate them so much.
No, I need to follow through and be a writer. Nothing else. Stop trying to do what everyone else wants or tells me I should be doing. I'm not going to keep being miserable and depressed, hating myself for not being what I am told to be.
I am never going to be an "academic" deeply vested in research. That would take time from writing creatively. Instead, I might be a passionate writer who teachers others about the power of words. Even a script for a silent movie is a script... words put in motion.
If I can't be a writer, I don't really want to be anything else. Teaching, something I do love, is even second to writing. And I definitely don't mean academic writing. I mean creative, literary,
makes your heart race and mind drift writing.
So how do I get out of this stupid, horrible hamster wheel and do what I was meant to do?