Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Okay, Fine

My father's reaction to the aforementioned situation is, "I think you just wanted to whine a little bit."

It can be rather intensely frustrating to be told how you're really feeling. Particularly by a parental unit--because s/he might be right. While I'm in the throes of confessing, I might as well confess to liking to whinge on occasion. As you might know. If you've been reading this blog for . . . at least a month.

But it might also be more a matter of what we're actually talking about. I can say I Don't Like Writing, but maybe what I really mean is I Don't Like the Discipline of actually making myself sit down and pound out a few pages. Once I start doing it, though, it's not so bad. I still have to take it in baby-steps--like, yesterday I wrote for an hour and that felt like a record. But, you know, I did it.

My dad might think I really like writing, and what he's thinking of is that I like Having Written. Which is most undoubtedly true. And the fact remains that I communicate with more people more and in more depth via the written word than the spoken one, usually, I think.


Jeff said...

I think I hear you... But my deal is a bit different. It's not so much, for me, that I like having written, it's that I like having the writing.
It's probably incredibly narcistic... There are these things that I think need to be said. If somebody else would say them, if there was some writer out there who wrote identically to me, I think I'd be quite content not to write.
(Actually, maybe that's all a lie. Whenever I read something that seems like I could have written it, I feel angry that I didn't write it first.)
I guess the only thing I can't escape, is that either way, it's narcistic.

Jenn said...

Jeff--the narcissism thing is definitely there. (I think I alluded to it in the previous post.) DEFINITELY there. I'll probably post something about that tomorrow.

GreekGeek said...

Heee. My favorite is that you used the word "whinge". Very proper of you.

On my side, I think I like the Having Written, Having Published, Having Given Papers... All in the past tense. I Have Impressed People. (So leave me alone now and quit asking me how my project is going and when I'll have those edits to you and when I might EVER finish... I Have Been Impressive, so stop asking me to continue!) =] It is much harder to be discipline in the present, so much happier to sit and contemplate past achievements and dream of when current annoyances will be gone... But speaking of which, I should probably get offline and back to it ... *sigh

A Musing Mom said...

It's that whole butt in chair phenomenon. Showing up and doing the work of writing can be agonizing. But do you ever get those moments where you're finally in the flow and these words are pouring out of you? It think that part is the bliss - oh, and seeing your name in print.

The other part is personality. It seems like lots of us writers are melancholies, which means there's a whole lot we don't like and a whole lot we whine about, even when we maybe do like something.

Just my two cents. :)

Barry Pike said...

I totally get this, too. Like you, I enjoy very much the Having Written part. But the actual writing part is not nearly as thrilling and it by no means constitutes a driving force in my life.

I, too, read and enjoyed Stephen King's book on writing that you mentioned some time back. I think it was he who observes, truly, that many, many people want to be writers, but very few actually want to write.

Achieving publication, as you have, is inarguably a vindicating sign. It is an evidence, at least, of gifting and skill, if not calling.

Jenn said...

GG--I'm pretty sure I'd never feel happy about any pre- or post-presenting. But yeah, you get what I'm saying . . .

AMM--for some reason I hadn't cottoned onto the whole "melancholic-whinging-writer" thing, but you're probably right!

Barry--if it's a gifting, is it possible for it NOT in some way to be a calling?