So, in case you didn’t know, I want to be an author. Like, a proper, published, hard-cover, book-signing author
. But I have a problem:
Whenever I try to make writing the focus of my life...I can’t write.
I mean, it’s not that I’m incapable of stringing words together to form sentences that make stories that people actually seem to enjoy reading; it’s more that I can’t ever focus on my writing when that’s all I’ve got to focus on.
It’s like this:
- When I was in school—high school and university—and I had other things taking up my time, I wrote prolifically. I wrote fanfiction and I wrote original works. I wrote thousands and thousands of words and some of it never, ever saw anything of the world outside my notebooks but I wrote.
- Then university ended and my parents, wonderful people that they are, said that they weren’t going to force me to look for a job, I could have six months (it turned out to be a year) to just write. And all of a sudden, I couldn’t.
- So, eventually, I started working. I’ve got a tedious job at a boring company where my responsibilities are absolutely mind-numbing. But guess what? I’m writing again. I’m not writing the same volume as before but I’m not bothered because anything is better than nothing.
- Recently, as in ever since I started This Is Not Forever, I’ve found it easier and easier to put things on paper and to actually work my ideas into prose. I’ve written 3⅓ chapters of TINF, four oneshots for the Puck/Rachel meme and I have at least three more in the works. I haven’t produced this much since 2008, my second year in university.
- So I’ve reached a conclusion and you probably already know what it is. I’m still going to tell you anyway: Writing is my escape.
Writing simply can’t
be a job for me. Once it becomes a job, I can’t do it. If it’s an obligation, my whole being
just seems to rebel. It doesn’t even have to do with whether or not I find writing fun. I always
find writing fun. I love to write. I just can’t ever think of it as something I have
Writing is my guilty
pleasure. I don’t know when I conditioned myself to be this way. No one has ever tried to stop me from writing. I just don’t feel right when people expect me to produce something. I don’t hide to write, I just write that much better when it’s my distraction rather than my focus.
I don’t know what this means for my ambitions to become an author. I just know that this is the way I am.
- In regard to fanfiction—I think that’s my guiltiest pleasure of them all. Not only am I writing but I’m writing something that I know will never be anything more than it is. No one can ever expect anything from it. And yes, as a teenager, my parents weren’t too pleased with the whole concept of me spending time on fanfiction. They’ve always been supporters of me writing my own stories. They’ve come to tolerate my fanfiction habit but they’re always a little disappointed when I say I’m writing and then clarify by saying, “It’s a fanfic.”
- Furthermore, I think I may be giving the impression that expectations turn me off writing. They don’t. I love knowing that people want to read my stuff. Like, for instance, whenever I put dibs on a prompt (or Mell forces one of my own on me), I’m absolutely eager to write it. I like knowing that I’m definitely going to have a readership and I love reviews and feedback. So it’s not about people’s expectations. My problem stems from me and my own attitudes towards what I do.
- Final clarification: I don’t want to have to keep my writing on the fringes of my life but it’s beginning to look like that’s the only way I’ll ever be able to produce anything. I really, really wish it wasn’t like this. I don’t want to have to fit being author in around being whatever else I waste time as. I want it to be identity rather than my alias. (Does that even make sense?)