Perhaps it is the writer’s curse, or maybe it is the thing that keeps an artist humble, but I never see myself for all the good others see in me. I am reminded of those lyrics in that song, “Waste of Paint” by Bright Eyes that goes something like: thanks for thinking I created something worthy of praise, but nothing good comes from me; therefore, your compliment is wasted on me. Why do we do this to ourselves?
I never see the positive in myself; I only live in negatives. I take things that are not normal and twist them in my mind so I can justify them as normal. For about five years, I had this nice golf ball sized growth in my neck. Never once did I think it was anything but normal. I mean, doesn’t everyone get golf ball sized tumors in their neck? Well, it turned out my golf ball was swimming with cancer. I am fine now…but my point is, I just take clear abnormal warning signs and justify them as normal.
You are sitting there thinking, what does this have to do with writing? First, just indulge me a little…I am feeling a bit philosophical. Second, it has everything to do with writing.
The other day, I was sitting with an old/new friend (we were great friends in high school, then we both just stopped talking, the power of facebook reunited us) and she point blank asked me why don’t I just write essays? I took a few minutes with that question because it held so many other questions. The only one that kept repeating was, “yeah, why don’t I write essays”?
I have been struggling with my short stories. I write them and then I wonder if they are too immature or if they just plain suck worse then a hungry piglet. Like I said in my other blog, all story lines are the same, it is our voice that makes them different. So, why don’t I use my voice and the way I see the world and my place in it and just talk about that?
Simply put, I don’t see the forest for the trees. I look for signs everywhere and here was this big one screaming, “Yo…over here…write essays…write your life story”. I just kept ignoring it because I think my life isn’t so special and seriously, who would want to read about me?
Again, I misread the sign and I am diluting the importance of my life and its lessons. So, keeping all that in mind, I am going into the world of essay/memoir writing. I have no idea where to start or what section of my life to pinpoint as the springboard, but for that I’ll look to one of my heroes, Augusten Burroughs. I was always amazed how willing he was to share his life with the world, and now I am slowly following his path.
As always I will keep you in the loop of how things are going. I am not saying I will never write another piece of fiction again; I am just saying I am going to try this new genre on. Beside, Tina always asked me to write my story and now maybe I finally have the guts to do so.