The Standard Question

People always ask writers that one question – “Why do you write?”

I know I’ve been asked it hundreds, if not thousands of times.  Ironically, I always answer the question in the most non-creative fashion possible.  I respond with something like “I can’t *not* write.  It’s just what I do.”

Which is total BS, if I’m being honest about it.  It’s the thing you say because it’s what you’re *supposed* to say.  Because writing is supposed to be the thing that drives you, your unending passion, your beating heart and all that.  Which is utterly false for a lot of people, including me.

I can go months without writing, and frequently have. It doesn’t keep me up at night.  I’m not overflowing with ideas and stories that I simply must get on paper or I’ll die.  I’m not saying that scenario isn’t true and real for very many others.  In fact, I’m sure it is! The commonality of the feeling is probably why I felt the need to buy into it for so many years.  I repeated the myth because I wanted it to be true for myself.

For me, writing is work.  It’s not difficult – not precisely.  When it all comes to together it tends to come together very well, and I can write poems in minutes that I actually love, or stories and chapters can come and go in an evening or two.  When it falls into place it’s like magic, so much so that I often reread things later and have a hard time believing I wrote them because I simply don’t recall much of the process.

It’s the in between times that make me feel like Not A Writer, and those times are far more frequent and lasting than the aforementioned magic.

So in the end, saying “I can’t *not* write!” is sort of a lie.  Today could be the last day I ever wrote anything, and I’m not sure it would kill me.  Yet at the same time, the magic of the story wouldn’t end. I’d still be creating worlds and characters and living there for a while with them and growing to love all of it.  But it would all be in my head instead of on paper.

If you never put pen to paper, are you inherently not a writer? It seems so obvious, right? That to be a writer you have to write. Of course you do.

And yet, for whatever reason, I remain unconvinced.

Websites are hard…

So, building my website through dreamhost required me to choose a content manager.  I’ve had websites before, but the only CMS I’ve ever used is WordPress and efiction (Oh hush, fanfiction is fun!).  Or, in the good old days, I’d hand code the html myself.  Now everything is CSS, which I never ever got, and frankly do not have the time or the energy to learn.  So 1 Content Management System it was.

I ended up going with Concrete 5 over Joomla, simply because I installed Joomla first, took a look at it and was instantly confused.  I’m not usually that easily confused stuff like that.  So I deleted it and moved on to Concrete 5.  It’s taken me a few hours to figure out some basic stuff like increasing font size, but I think I’m getting there.

Tweaking these kinds of details are annoying.

And then there are things like wordpress.org installs versus wordpress.com blogs.  The .com blogs have integrated Twitter and Facebook sharing options.  The .org self hosted forces you to install a plug in, and the one I chose needs me to create a facebook app to use it.  So lots of mucking around with code tonight.  Good times.

Now I’m exhausted and haven’t done any real writing on Death Becomes Her today.

The night is still young, I suppose.

Acceptance

I think a lot of what makes us sad is a lack of acceptance of our reality.  We keep reaching for that dream, or that goal, often to fall short.  We rarely accept ‘No’ for an answer.  It’s embedded in the smallest things we hear in life from “You can be anything you want to be if you just your mind to it” to “There’s someone out there for everyone” to “everything happens for a reason”.
These are lies.  Well meaning lies, but lies nonetheless.
I think that’s part of my problem.  I’ve gone through life with expectations and desires like everyone does.  I have no want for things, it’s relationships I’m looking for.  I want people to rely on, no matter what.  And the fact is, there is no one you can rely on no matter what.  I want a best friend like I had when I was 16.  I want a partner who loves me and misses me when I’m not around.  I want to be the most important person in the world to just one other person.

That is what I want.

I have never had that.  Not really.  I keep trying.  Looking for it, trying to mold people into my vision of what I want them to be.  Trying to make more of things that are paltry and unsubstantial.  As I grow older this becomes harder and harder to do.  It’s like the Emperor’s New Clothes.  I’ve gone all my life WANTING so very much to really be seeing the Emperor’s fabulous new garments, but I never quite get there.
My relationships with friends and others have been lessening day by day, it doesn’t really matter why.  It just matters that it is.  I am single.  My friendships are mostly superficial.  And I am miserable because I don’t have what I want.

Maybe it’s time to accept that I will never be the most important person to anyone.  I will never have that partner in life that I always thought I’d find.  Maybe it’s time to realize that it will only be me, alone, and stop trying so hard.  To accept that I am solitary, and act accordingly.

So here I am.  Accepting that fundamentally I am alone.  Not actually alone, for there are people who care about me and love me, clearly.  But today it’s time to start realizing that I will not get what I want.  So it’s time to stop wanting it.