Thursday, May 2, 2013

The right to write, part two

Aunt B's piece really resonates with me. It's such a cliche, but writing is a subjective art. How are you supposed to know when something is ready, let alone marketable?
So this whole fiction writing thing just fucking sucks. I have to do it. Nothing at all makes me happier (except my dog and she’s been eating the cat poop lately and giving herself the shits). I feel like I have the brains and credentials to say “Yep, this sucks. Here’s how it should be better.” or “No, hey, this is really good. Someone will want it.”
Truth? Writing doesn't always make me happy, at least not in the way a pan of freshly baked chocolate chip cookies or a marathon of Rupaul's Drag Race (seasons 1-3) does. Content, maybe. Accomplished. Proud, even. But not happy. Like Dorothy Parker said, "I hate writing; I love having written." But that doesn't mean I'm not compelled to do it.

(I've said this before, and maybe it isn't the healthiest attitude to have, but I think it's okay to hate your writing, especially when you've spent long hours sweating over and cursing it.)

She mentions credentials, something I don't have in any formal sort of way. I'm a pretty good judge of writing, but it's not what I studied in school. By most standards, I'm not allowed to be anything but a savant or an autodidact. I'm hardly the former, and I hate the latter because it implies that whatever skill I do have is "magical," or that all learning that takes places outside a classroom is inferior. I don't know how much acquiring credentials would change, but while other people are creating entire empires, I'm building a single house,  brick by brick. (Apologies for the heavy-handed metaphor.)

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