I love writing.
I love telling stories, I love words, I love challenging myself to do better.
I love the way that stories can connect with people, whether they are true or not.
I love creating that giant question mark over peoples’ heads, where they’re asking Is this real?
I love the way that you can manipulate words, using subtleties and nuances to plant seeds in the minds of your readers, and then spend a hundred pages watering those seeds until they grow and bear fruit.
I love metaphor, as in, I metaphor lunch, she had the salad, I had Italian wedding soup and garlic bread.
I love the actual writing bit, and I do it. A lot. On average, I write about 2000 words a day — averaged out. Sometimes I write nothing, other days I’ve been known to pound out 10,000 words (and not just the same one over and over again).
I love writing in different voices, different styles, different genres — people sometimes find this strange, and there are those who can’t believe Jessica B. Bell and I are the same person. Wouldn’t I just blow their fucking minds if I revealed my third, and true, identity, and pointed those folks to my other blog (which is growing dusty, I confess — perhaps I should pay it a visit).
So this is, in part, my love letter to writing — I’d love for you to share what you love about writing, as well, but first, let me get to the second part of this, and that is, my insecurity and cowardice.
I’d love to be a writer – a real, paid, working writer. After all, with my output and imagination, you’d think that this could be a reality.
But I’m afraid.
People sometimes say things like “You should go after (Insert whatever you want here) as if your life depended on it.” As if that’s just something you can just do. Just quit your job, fuck the mortgage and bills and write as if your life depended on it.
Well, that’s great if you’ve got some sort of safety net (and don’t get me wrong, I don’t begrudge those that do — good for you). But what about those of us whose life would be ruined if they missed two paychecks in a row?
And then there’s the guilt. Does anyone else feel ashamed of being a writer? As if it’s something to be embarrassed about?
Has this thought ever crossed your mind: “I couldn’t possibly be a writer, I need to be a productive member of society.” (or some variation thereof).
So this isn’t one of those “What’s Stopping You?” inspirational, motivational speeches, darlings. You should know by now that I don’t give those.
This is just me talking, opening the floor to conversation. Does anyone else feel defeated? Does anyone else wonder if this is the best it’s ever going to get — that this is your audience? Does anyone else feel unappreciated and wants to admit that but are afraid that you, too, will be called pretentious or ungrateful like your favourite dilettante has been called from time to time?
Does anyone want to stand up now and call me pretentious or ungrateful, or suggest that I might have more readers if I laid off the artifice and just wrote plainly?
Speak now or forever hold your pee, as they say.
Does anyone have any good advice on how to cope with these feelings, or how to succeed at life through the power of (insert philosophy here)? Are there any agents reading this right now that want to hire me on to write about anything from broken relationships to pseudo-lycanthropy?
Talk to me — let’s chat. Seriously, how often do I do this — opening the floor for actual discussion?
Say something. Let me know you’re out there, world.