This is, evidently, the season of disturbing self-discoveries.
For example, Christianne is just coming to terms with the fact (and please correct me if I'm misinterpreting, Christianne) that connecting with people on a heart-level is more important to her than her writing is.
Personally, I've known that about myself for years, but the thing that has dawned on me this week that is rocking my world is that I don't think I like to write.
This comes as something of a shock, since I have always identified myself (somewhat perfunctorily, as it turns out) as someone who "likes to write," and furthermore, I have in the last month been permitting myself to call myself a writer. I am starting to wonder if the reason I never did before is because I didn't want to have to take responsibility for it. But now I have a book coming out, and I'm writing freelance articles for New England Condominium magazine, and I'm reading books on writing and wrestling my way through a second novel . . . which, by the way, is terrible. It seems that I could vindicate the mild embarrassment I feel for being a barista at . . . this age . . . by implying that, sure, I work at Starbucks to pay the bills, but really I'm a writer.
I wonder if what I like about writing is the self-broadcasting potential, and the fact that I can do it with a modicum of flair. But I very rarely enjoy it. This is making me uneasy, but also illuminates for me why I keep having to browbeat myself to get any writing done. People ask me how "my writing" is going, and tell me I'm "a good writer" or even (this was my favourite, because of the respect I have for the literary savvy of the person who said it) "an unusual writer." And every time someone says it, I feel guilty. Stephen King says that the sign of a true writer is that they have to write and it "blisses them out." I'm pretty sure I've only ever "blissed out" when I was writing once. Maybe twice. Mostly I sit down to do it only when I can no longer find some other worthy excuse not to do it, and then I try to find some other worthy excuse to stop doing it as soon as reasonably possible.
Why would God give me a gift that I use so begrudgingly? Why is it so hard for me to apply myself to it--out of gratitude to him, if for no other reason? Why do I find this gift such a hard thing to be grateful for? I feel like the guy who buried the king's money in the ground.
I have friends who love to write and would love to be published (and deserve the credits, too, no doubt), and heck--I like that I'm going to be published, but I feel like I don't deserve it, since I view the process with such distaste. It's kind of like those friends of mine who are all, "I never wanted to get married--it's so funny that I'm married now!" Well, I've always wanted to get married, and those kinds of statements are a little galling to me. (They also feed my Murphy's-Law-esque ideas about God which are supposedly false--that the things I really want I am unlikely to get, whereas what I don't want will no doubt happen.) I feel that my publishing opportunities are likewise unfair, though I don't particularly want to trade them or anything.
This whole thing is baffling to me. Including the ironic fact that . . . hey, look! I had to write, in order to tell you this!