Like Writing for Chocolate or Answering to Charlie

What is it with this writing stuff? Sometimes it’s just flowing out of me like promises from a politician, and other times I can’t seem to get out anything that doesn’t make me cringe. Okay, most of the time it’s the latter. And why is it after you write and re-write and proof and re-write again and finally get to a point where you can say, “this isn’t complete crap” it gets rejected? Other times you write rambling junk and your words seem to connect with someone–why? Why do birds suddenly appear every time you are near?

What gets me motivated to get those words out there for someone to spit at or ignore? I wrote for years–only for my husband to read. Most of it was dark and I guess it needed to get it out so I could go on to other things. Then I would attempt to write something a bit more marketable and it would get rejected–or even worse, ignored! Of course, they should have been rejected–I wouldn’t have any respect for an editor that would accept that bunk. But after the rejections I would decide I couldn’t write and give up.

A friend of mine encouraged me to blog a couple of years ago. I think it was because she was tired of hearing my ramblings and was hoping blogging would be some needed therapy for me. I didn’t take her advice until December of last year. Now I’m mesmerized by the blog monster and can’t stop throwing my annoying thoughts out hoping they might stick somewhere.

As much as I want to write for myself, I can’t seem to get the desire for approval out of my mind. I hit the publish button and then wait in anticipation for a comment. If I get a comment or two I think hey, it wasn’t bird turd afterall, and if I get no comments I wonder what I did wrong and consider becoming a police officer. (I watched too much Wonder Woman growing up; at around twelve I realized I couldn’t become a  superhero so I started to consider other options. After watching Charlie’s Angels reruns, I decided I could be a police officer or private detective. When I was 21, I trained for a whole week to get into the academy.)

I have read and re-read “Bird by Bird” by Anne Lamott–I think I even put it under my pillow–hoping it would somehow make me become a writer. So what was it that finally motivated me to go for it? What makes me write everyday even when my mind is empty and void of anything remotely interesting? What is it that makes me face rejection day after day after day? What did you think I would do at this moment?

Last fall, I was thinking about how so many different books have impacted my life, and how I appreciated the people who took the time to write. I finally got it–I’m really slow, too much television growing up I think–I finally realized that my writing could mean something to someone else. 

I know my writing won’t have a profound impact on millions or even a dozen people, but if it makes someone look at life a bit differently or makes them laugh or smile I guess it’s worth the angst everyday. Well, on second thought, now that I ponder all of the torture and chocolate I have to eat just to produce something mediocre at best, it isn’t worth it. Hmmm, how hard is it to scale a 6 ft. fence and run a mile in 12 minutes? I’m not too old, afterall, Farah Fawcett just turned 60–I’m a baby!

Quiz: How many songs lyrics were hidden in my text? What were they? Why is it dangerous to watch so much TV?


6 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. TSM-terrifically superiorily mediocre
    Feb 22, 2007 @ 16:13:52

    Two song lyrics that I could see…”At this moment” and “Close to You”…

    Why is TV dangerous? Well, it makes you think you can be Wonder Woman! Or a P.I. …

    And makes you think Farrah Fawcett is only 60 🙂

  2. Alien Drums
    Feb 23, 2007 @ 05:43:57

    I don’t have time to count right now, but I will say that your blog is one of the few that I look at almost daily. Thanks for writing.

  3. rjlight
    Feb 23, 2007 @ 09:56:15

    TSM – yeah, those were too easy.

    Alien Drums – thank you!

  4. Trackback: Job Experience — Part I « a-muse-ing
  5. Meera
    Sep 18, 2007 @ 05:41:05

    nice blog! i enjoyed reading it…and writing is great therapy..i blog in frustration, ALWAYS 🙂

  6. rjlight
    Sep 18, 2007 @ 16:19:17

    thanks Meera 🙂

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