There was a time when I wanted to be a writer. There was a time when I was a writer–and a time when I was an “essayist”, then a journalist, then an editor, then a writer of articles and even an investigative reporter. Now, I am none of these.
On a whim I joined this Reverb10 assignment to “create” something for each day of December, but already it feels like a writing competition for real writers and I don’t know what that means anymore, really, other than something people flaunt about at cocktail parties, and I don’t want to have anything to do with it.
The truth is I want to be nearly anything but a real writer. I can’t take the criticism, the hostility, the backlash. I just don’t have the skin for it anymore. Too jumpy, too easy to crumble, to scared, really. It takes a boat load of courage to be a writer, out there, out-of-the-closet, sans aka or nom de plume. It’s just gotten me in too much trouble.
I can write fluff. I’m really good at that–cosmetic reviews, paid ad pieces, interviews with the real estate guy, the Nutrisystem gal, Christmas “What to Buy Your Sweetheart”, runway reviews, what’s new in Feng Shui? Not a problem. Cake walk. I can do it in my sleep.
Fluff, however, does not fill that need, that artist thing, that I can never clearly name without sounding like a snotty bitch. It doesn’t shine the light–not on me, but inside me, and that, more than any other place is where a real writer needs to go and I just don’t know for sure if I can go there anymore. It’s a pretty fucking frightening place to go.
So, for now, I am going to wade around in the shallow end of this Reverb10 assignment and see if it draws anything from me, for me, to keep me pushing deeper into a place I can still stand, without drowning.