Friday, August 10, 2012

Nope, I'm not a writer

I don't have much in common with writers, which is no big surprise.

Writers write.  They write everyday.  They set goals for themselves and fret about it if they don't quite get there.  If they aren't writing they worry about it. They edit & rewrite.  No matter what else they have going on, they find time.  They keep notebooks close at hand in case they think of something, see something, hear something or someone says something interesting - an idea, word, phrase, insight, anything.  They struggle to find the right word.  Writers also read, a lot.  But mostly, they write, every day.

I haven't written too much in this blog for 3 months, and I haven't worried about it too much.  And though it's irrelevant, nothing of what I have written is really worth much of anything except to me.  Worth is important to a writer.

I haven't written a short story in several years.

My favorite one, way back when, was about a woman and a snake.  The woman, the snake, and a little dog were the only characters in the book.   It took place early in the morning, with the woman sitting at the kitchen table with a cup of coffee trying to wake up. She had to get cleaned up and ready for work, and she also she also had a young child who was asleep, but who she would have to wake up soon, get cleaned up, dressed, fed and ready for day care. She had a very busy morning ahead of her, and that was before she got to work. She was also married, but her husband was out of town on business.  So her child and her husband are also characters, but they are in the background, they exist, but they never make an appearance.

Her being married and having a child was no accident - I remember actually thinking about this.  I could have made her a single parent, or a single woman living on her own, but I decided to giver her a child and a temporarily absent husband.  It seem to make things more interesting, because for a few days she was thrust into a role she wasn't used to, and wasn't really prepared for, essentially she was a  single parent.

The whole story is her thoughts and the comments of an unseen narrator who seems to know everything there is to know about her.   One thing the narrator knows is that the woman considers her husband being away as something of a vacation for her - one less person to worry about, except late at night in a dark, creaking almost-in-the-country house when she feels not quite scared, but uneasy.  The only dialogue in the story is between her and the dog. 

So the conflict in the story (all stories have conflict) comes when the little dog starts going ballistic at the front door, and the woman opens the door to find a big snake on her front porch, right outside the door.  For whatever reason, it doesn't seem to be going anywhere.  After the initial shock, she's irritated because dealing with the snake would normally fall under the auspices of the husband's duties, he man that he is, but he's gone, so she has to deal with it.  The rest of the story is how she deals with it.

It involves gasoline.

So I used to write stories, but I don't anymore.   Writers have to pay attention to the human condition, and that takes concentration and a decent amount of insight.  I can concentrate, but I'm not sure I have the insight.  

In the book I'm reading now, the protagonist is surprised find his teenage daughter understands "the value of an endorsement from a fool".  Which, of course, is nothing.  Less than nothing, to be honest.  And that's in the bible too, Proverbs I think, but maybe Psalms.  Or maybe somewhere else.  It goes something like this: "Its better to be thought merely good by the great, than great by the merely good".    It's human condition stuff.

Anyway, writing can be fun, but I'm not a writer. 

1 comment:

Patti Anne said...

Well, I think you are a writer. I've read a lot that you've written. You have your own unique style and pace, and I can tell it's you writing and that your writing is distinct. I've read a lot, and I can tell you for sure, you are a writer. And a good one, at that!