Sometimes (most of the time, really) I think of this writing thing as one big crapshoot. There’s no way to know what’s going to catch on; no way to know if what I write will be read. Though there are days when I get frustrated beyond reason about my writing, most of the time I can maintain perspective.
Today is not one of those days. Scribbling in my notebook, I can’t help but think that putting pen to paper is a big waste of time. Instead of marking up perfectly good paper, I should be practicing Ninjutsu. I could be learning the art of traversing distances silently without notice. In a very real way, I’m doing that anyway.
I traverse miles of intellectual distance such that I can share my learnings and somehow teach things for and about which I know there’s a demand. But, no one really notices. The truth is that if a writer writes in the woods and no one’s there to read them, they make no sounds. So really, I’m already a silent warrior moving through reality without a hint of being noticed.
Now, don’t get me wrong. I need to write. I need to express these things buzzing in my head; if and when I don’t, I feel like a hot air balloon about to burst. The stress of leaving ideas and phrases and cool sounding words locked up like caged birds gets to me so badly that I can literally feel my skin stretch to the point of tearing. When I don’t write, irritability seeps from all of my pores and stinks up whatever space I’m taking up. If people think that frustration doesn’t have a scent, they should spend time with me after three (3) days of no writing: The stench of my frustration smells like vinegar and rotten meat. Therefore, I need to write just to spare the world of my not-writing-pollution-smell.
But, it would be really neat if something I wrote actually paid its own way in this world. Sure, I agree that to create is its own reward. But, buying a steak dinner with money from royalty check is probably pretty cool, too. I mean, what writer hasn’t dreamed of being paid from words that he’s drafted and edited? I don’t think I’m being that materialistic: I spend so much time either writing, preparing to write, or presenting something that I’ve written that it actually ends of costing me a ton. Shoot, I’d be happy to just break even and pay for the pens and notebooks I buy on an all too frequent basis.
And while I can usually calm myself about this writing life of mine, today has brought on a whole bunch of frustration. One day, I hope, maybe one of my books will sell. Maybe some producer or another will want a new story (for once) and option Butterfly Warrior. Maybe a grip of people will buy 49 Tips & Insights for Understanding Addiction and find their own path to recovery. Maybe a swarm of folks will find Journey to Aztlan and become inspired. Maybe?
A writer can dream….