Wednesday, November 4, 2009

i am a crap writer

i have had one dream ever since i was little, shining like a beacon that i held in front of me - i want to be a writer.

not just a writer, because in my mind that's not enough, but a published writer. and perhaps a critically-acclaimed published writer whom jhumpa lahiri really, really enjoys, but "just" a published writer would be good, too. in fact, that wold be great. that would be a dream come true.

i'm doing nanowrimo this year, that crazy thing people do every november. the idea is to write a 50,000-word novel in 30 days. basically it's 30 days of hell, because writing is 20% actually writing and 80% overcoming the constant self-assessment that you are the very worst writer that ever lived, ever breathed, ever existed.

writing is not for the faint of heart. or the lacker of self-esteem. it's basically a cesspool for sadists. or masochists. or both.

and here's why - it's because i care so much that i hate everything i write. those papers in high school and college, the ones that i got a good grade on simply because i could string a sentence together, were no reflection of my writing ability. they were simple showcases of my talent for vomiting bullshit on a computer screen. and believe me, i was proud of them, especially after i had friends who spent hours on papers, only to get Cs and Ds. but those papers weren't anything to be really happy with, not on a writer's level. i didn't care about those papers about crappy books i hated or homoerotic, metaphysical feelings between two random Shakespeare characters. i cared about the short story i wrote for samrat that he absolutely massacred - and about the second draft that he praised. because for two seconds, just a wisp of time, i felt like i wasn't the very worst writer that ever walked the earth. i felt like my moments of talent could possibly come together to create something that some literary agent would connect with, and then beg and plea some publisher to publish. and it all might come true, this dream of me of opening up a box and seeing a book with my name on it and smelling that truly wonderful smell of fresh book - possibility, hope, pages and pages of words that are all mine.

so i keep writing this crappy story i'm working on, keep churning out words that sometimes remind me of the bullshit vomit, keep going, hoping the next sentence will be better, or the next, or the next one after that. it has to be. what i lack in self-esteem, i make up in determination. i can do this. i have to do this.

just one more word.

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