The Letter of Intent

I think I’m going to postpone Week 10 Summary pt. 2 until Monday. I want to post something a bit more philosophical, and not so regimented.

I read a blog post today, which I probably should post a link to. It’s from a writer I follow. Not anyone big. Not someone you would know if I dropped his name. Just a struggling young writer trying to self-publish his creative dreams.

Usually he has some poetic views and opinions, and then wraps it up by asking for donations. You see, he quit his day job in order to follow his dreams and make them a reality. So, he asks for money from his readers in order to stay afloat.

It’s weird to me.

I would never quit my day job before writing could sustain me. And I would never ask for money from my readers. But, I don’t want to vilify this guy. It’s not my goal. He made his decisions, and people do donate money. I’m just not one of them.

But, today he posted about how you can’t put your dreams off. Can’t keep telling yourself that you’ll have time to make them a reality later. Which, yes I understand. And he said that, he’s not suggesting everyone give up their jobs in order to start writing and painting.

But, that’s how it made me feel.

He made me feel like I don’t take writing as seriously as he does. Obviously, his post wasn’t directed at me personally, and he swears that he doesn’t feel this way. But the tone was different. The tone said, “I am a suffering writer, my cause is better than yours.”

Excuse me, Mr. Writer Man. I work fulltime, and I’m writing about 20 hours week on top of that. I still maintain what small social life I have, and I’m planning a wedding. Add to it a serious consideration of going back to school, and suddenly my suffering seems pretty damn legit.

But, that’s not why I write this blog.

I write this blog to empty my brain of any excess writerly thoughts. I write this blog for a small sense of community. I write this blog to keep myself, and other suffering writers upbeat.

I don’t need your Woe-Is-Me schtick. I have only once ever considered giving up writing. That was 2 years into college, when I realized that I would probably never make a living off of it. I panicked. I grasped for any major that could lead to a lucrative career. Two months into those classes, I panicked again.

My creative mind felt stagnant. It was begging for something to do, to focus on. And I realized that, when I don’t write, I slowly lose my mind.

I applied for the Creative Writing Certificate Program the day after that. My Letter of Intent was probably one the best, and most honest things I’ve ever written. I keep it, and consider it every now and then. It helps me remember the rushing clarity of that moment. In that panic induced moment, suddenly everything was startlingly clear.

I Am A Writer. No matter where that takes me, for better or for worse.

And nothing some blogger, or the Jimmy John’s Delivery Guy, or some uneducated customer who is compelled to share their opinion, can convince me otherwise.

I tried to give up writing once; I almost lost my mind. Since I’ve had this realization, I’ve never looked back.

 

BZ

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