Writing about Writing while Recovering from Novocaine

For the last 8 years, I have wanted to be a writer.

I filled Steno pads with imaginary adventures of characters too bizarre or too perfect to populate any respectable book.  I wrote very bad poems about loneliness, butterflies, and my uncle’s big head.  I wrote three novellas in three years with stale protagonists and lots of castles and archery.  I took a gamble and wrote a script for a favorite radio show…and sent it…unsolicited.  I entered my slightly better poems in a prestigious poetry competition because they all I had.  I consumed everything I heard and read in my college English class.  I sent one of my newer bad poems to the college writing competition and screamed when I received the e-mail telling me I’d won.  I even decided to major in writing.  And eventually, I chose to blog.

And like all writers, I am no stranger to disappointment.  My only published works I’ve had were the two pieces I entered in the writing competition at my community college.  And some wouldn’t consider that proper publishing.  And, after blogging for 9 months, I have 11 followers.

More recently, I’ve thought “I can never make it.  My novels are ridiculous.  My characters are unrealistic.  My sentence stuctures are repetitive.  My poetry stinks.  99% of it doesn’t deserve to be called poetry.  And when I try technical writing, I morph into an OCD geek with a penchant for slashing commas and insisting on parallel everything.  I know so many poets, writers, bloggers who are better than me.  I should just give it up.”

And the melancholia or the novocaine seems to set in and drown all my eager hopes and bright ideas with dusky shrouds.

Being a writer is not easy.

Especially when you feel sorry for yourself.

Writing should not be all about me because life is not all about me.  I was struggling with these very concepts–was I any good–was I wasting my time and money–when I went to a required forum for writing majors.  A very special poet was the speaker.  She is graceful woman–quiet, sincere, orderly, and genuine.  I once had the honor of being her poetry student.  She spoke to the thirty students on the topic of balance in the life of a writer.  And she had the most beautiful illustrations and picturesque examples.  I wish every writer could have heard that speech, for it was so beautiful it couldn’t be considered a lecture.  It was more stirring than Richmond’s urge to his troops in Richard III.  It was inspirational.

I cannot share the details of it as I wish I could.  I want to share her powerful analogies and her poetic descriptions.  But since they were her words and her work, I can only share in boring language what I learned.  Not everyone is Shakespeare.  And your best may be seen only by a very small group.  But that shouldn’t stop you from writing.  Writing is a gift.  God is the giver of gifts and He doesn’t waste them.  And He does not waste people.  So again, I am faced with what will I do with what God gave me?

See you around the local writing hang-outs,

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