Something happened last week, and, as usual, I stuck my foot in my mouth. I’ve had a week now to think things through and re-assess and reconsider and … sadly I stand by my comments, even though they left skid marks on my tongue and ticked off some people. Worse, I am going to expand on my comment and expound on my statement: poop or get off the pot. My thoughts begin with —
That is a dangerous word. Who we are changes every year, every week, every day. Sometimes every hour. How we define ourselves is subjective, is marred and punctured and uplifted and focused by events and other people.
I am rude, kind, evil, good …
When I do something nice for someone, I am a good person. When I do something less than nice (even cutting off another car in traffic) I am not. Even if I am taking a neighbor to the doctor and was about to miss a very important turn. (Totally fabricated. I’ve never taken my neighbor to the doctor. Family members and friends, yes, neighbors I barely know, no.) Even if I am saying something that needs to be said or doing something that needs to be done. Does that mean I sometimes call the kettle black? Ummm. Maybe. I am surely denting the kettle. Because everyone has a unique way of looking at the world and my way will not be anyone else’s way. Back to subject at hand.
I am friend to many, lover and wife to one, student, teacher, gentle, brutal, conservative, liberal, Christian but not judgmental, law abiding, but willing to speak out against unjust laws. I am religious, spiritual, a natural skeptic, a believer, confused, accepting …
I … Is dangerous. One single *I* can change the world for good. Or destroy it. Bring peace and order or war and chaos.
I am …? So many things, so many changing, evolving things. And I believe that we all should be evolving and changing beings. If we don’t change, we are no better than our own worst, two dimensional characters in a world that has no hope of getting better. So, I am many things—as is the “I” of each of you.
“I think, therefore I am.” But for me, of all the things that I am, I am first and foremost a writer … I write, therefore I am.
When I have a sale, a nice royalty check, a good review, I am a good writer. When my work gets a bad review or an editor says no to a book my agent submitted, I am not.
Writers write. It *is* the self-descriptor we use when we describe our deepest selves. We *write*. All the other jobs and responsibilities and beliefs and worries are secondary. Of course we *think* about the market and our time constraints and our families and our obligations. Of course we work at the day job and spend time with our loves and responsibilities. But at the heart of it all we put blinders on to all that critical, crucial stuff, and we *write*.
Many of us are afraid of that. We fear that if we stopped all the exterior stuff we do in life (blogging and commenting and reading society and Hollywood info and listening to political commentators and watching stupid TV … all the time consuming *stuff*) and just wrote, we would not be good enough. So we worry it to death.
The Hebrew word for worry has its roots in the same word as gnaw. When we worry, we gnaw things to the bone and eventually turn it to painful slivers.
We writers need to stop that. We need to poop or get of the pot. Stop all the other stuff (commenting and blogging and worrying and watching meaningless TV) and *Write*. If we spent all the time we do with other things and just *wrote* we would be able to finish a book every year. That is what I mean when I say poop or get off the pot. WRITE! Finish a book. And then start another one. That is what writers do.
Okay. I’m getting off my soap box. If you want to make a comment about the stuff you do that keeps you from writing, go ahead. I’d like to read it. If you want to make a comment about how you describe yourself when you look inward and see your own soul, go ahead. I’d like to read that too. Then get back to writing y’all. It is all that matters.