Monday, November 1, 2010

A Writer's Fears

Sometimes I worry about myself as a writer. I worry that I might not have what it takes to be one. I fear that I lack the needed feeling of being driven to my keyboard every day, or that I will feel the compulsion but lack the discipline to make it happen. I am afraid that busyness will be my fatal enemy. I chew my lip over the thought that surely a real writer would not be so easily pulled away from her stories for several weeks by a mere sixty-hour workweek combined with a foreign culture and exhaustion. I worry that I might be some half-version of a writer that true writers would laugh at or cluck their tongues.

A few days ago, God decided I would never properly slow down on my own so he sent me the biggest doozy of a cold that left me utterly useless, trying to cough up a lung in my bed for the weekend. It is impossible to become dehydrated through one’s nose. Believe me, I know. If it was possible I would’ve achieved it by last night. The upside of all of this was that I stayed in one place for over 48 hours, and, despite the misery, once I had slept and listened and read myself into utter restlessness, the writer within me reawakened and got back to work.

Don’t get ahead of yourselves. I haven’t finished a novel or anything. I didn’t even finish a new story, just managed to rework an old one. However, I did make a discovery, or at least clarified something I already knew: I am a writer. I have to be one because the days I feel most fulfilled and content when I go to sleep at night are the days I’ve had a good long listen with the father and the days I’ve managed to write at least something. The days I manage to do both—my sleep is especially good those nights.

I may not be the best writer. I may never produce the amount of pages or stories a good writer is supposed to produce. I may never be anthologized or remembered after my death, but I am a writer. You don’t have to understand, but that last part is all that’s really important, and I suppose I’ll spend the rest of my life trying to find the best way to push the world out of my room long enough to get words on paper. Last month India got the best of me, but at least for today the writer has won.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Nice post. Are you based in India? It's interesting that the fears and thoughts of writers anywhere in the world are pretty much the same. There is some self-doubt but also the urge to express- and succeed. May the latter win.