What about writing?

4 Feb

This Dog loves me

This is a conversation I’ve had in a variety of ways and shapes over the last couple of months with a number of friends and family.

I was at a friend’s birthday party and another friend was telling me about a hip-hop karaoke event that he’d attended and asked me why I wasn’t there as karaoke is one of my most beloved past times.

“I just got my biology text book in the mail, so I’ve been all study, all the time,” I told him.
“Oh, so this is for vet school.”
“Well, no, it’s for vet tech school. I don’t think vet school was ever for me. I’m thinking maybe going into animal behavior or zoology one day.”
A concerned look sweeps across his face.
“But what about writing?”

Well, what about writing? I ask myself that question every day. I have Mondays off of work, so I spent my entire day poring over a Biology text book. I occasionally took breaks to cook, take a walk, read, and write. I also took some time to research possible careers in animal behavior and/or zoology. It’s all interesting. I know I could do it. But it all feels like such a farce. Like who am I kidding with this shit? I feel like a square peg, shoving myself into a round hole and hoping no one notices that my edges don’t quite match up.

I’m quite ashamed of my job history. It’s something I joke about, because it is funny. But in a greater sense, it shows how little commitment I have. It’s not just the job history, it’s the things I’ve pursued. Three years ago, I thought I was going to go back to school to be a teacher. I studied an LSAT book for a couple of weeks. I took a graphic designing class. I bought an introduction to linguistics book. Nothing fits.

While I know that a lot of people my age are at a loss as to what they want to do, I don’t want to be among them. My friend who had the birthday on Saturday is my age, and she has a successful career, a stunning apartment, a graduate degree. I suppose I thought things would fall into place for me by now.

But what about writing? It’s all I’ve really wanted to do. I just don’t know how to swallow my pride, my fear and do it. I simply don’t know how.




4 Responses to “What about writing?”

  1. queerfox February 5, 2013 at 2:51 pm #

    I get where you’re coming from. I have a similar relationship with my job history. While a lot of things interest me, nothing ever feels like a career path I can actually stick with and follow. It’s been a struggle to figure out how to make peace with that and decide what to do with it.

    I started by realizing that our society places a lot of emphasis on being successful in one field, a master of your craft if you will. But throughout history, societies have also needed those who are able to turn their hand at any craft, to do well enough at a lot of things: a jack-of-all-trades. And those of us who are flexible and talented enough to do that should take pride in the fact we can survived and even thrive in multiple fields. Not everyone can.

    Then I did two things: I starting figuring out what skills I can acquire so I’d always be able to make money doing something I enjoy or at least don’t mind; hence massage school, and maybe a course in photojournalism, and making a list of all the skills I already have. And I thought about what I really wanted, not just thought I should want; for me that is having the freedom to travel the world.
    So then I could see what skills to focus on to get to that goal. And I could start to solve how to make that work with the passions I have (art, writing, etc). Having that big picture to keep in mind, even if I haven’t figured out all the details yet, has really helped me. I stay more positive and enthused more of the time, just about life in general, by knowing that I’m working towards my dreams, and by knowing what my dreams really are.

    As for writing, look at the lives of interesting authors: many of them had multiple careers and phases of their lives, and often couldn’t support themselves on their writing for a long time — if at all. But they always kept writing on the side, as they could, maybe publishing a few articles or short stories or poems. They lived their lives any way they could, and they used it to feed their writing with the knowledge and insight of the world around them. Writers don’t exist in a bubble or an ivory tower; if they did, their writing would have no realness. Writers need to experience all they can of what life has to offer, while remaining observant too.
    And you do that in your blog, and I’m sure you do that elsewhere too. THAT’S what makes you a writer, Chrissy. Don’t worry about becoming one; you already are. You just have to lose the fear of calling yourself one – and remember that being a writer isn’t about being published or about making a career out of it, unless you make it about those things. It’s about the compulsion to write, it’s about the way you have insights and observations about life, it’s about the life-long passion for words. You are a writer because you can’t help but be one. It’s who you are, it’s your nature.

    I know this is a really long comment — more like a response essay — but this has obviously been on my mind too, and I wanted to share my own thoughts on the subject with you. I hope it helps.

    • Chrissy February 5, 2013 at 3:20 pm #

      Thanks so much Kerry! This made me tear up a little. That’s exactly what I need to hear, and you are absolutely right. It shouldn’t be about proving myself to others, it should be about the love of the craft. Beautifully put.

      • queerfox February 5, 2013 at 3:30 pm #

        Aww, I’m so glad it helped! ^_^

  2. Quincey Trigillo February 12, 2013 at 5:02 pm #

    We don’t always have to follow one path… it took me years to figure that out. I’ve lived like 5 different lives since college. Who knows how many more lives I’ll live… And I wouldn’t have it any other way.

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