Thursday, August 25, 2011

Writer envy

When I hear or see stories told of writers whose writing stirred people, caused an honorable ruckus, I feel a slight twinge of jealousy. I've always wanted to be that pebble tossed in the waters, sending ripples through the smooth calm. Somewhere deep inside I know I'm meant to be that writer. But when I get up every day and do what I do, namely, writing on my blog, I feel so far from that pebble. I feel more like a feather, and they don't stir up the water at all.

I went and saw the movie, The help, a few days ago. I confess, I didn't read the book first, though I've wanted to for months. The movie is masterfully done, in my opinion, all of the characters living into their parts of the story so convincingly. One of the main characters, a young woman, is an aspiring writer. She wants to write big things, important things, and life kind of hands her this story to write, which turns out to be life from the perspective of the black servants - known as, "The help." With the collaboration of about a dozen black women who are maids, this young white woman gives them the opportunity to tell their stories, and in doing so, rocks the status quo of the South in the 1960s. Now that's what I'm talking about.

But as I said, I write a blog.

I'm not putting myself down. Everyone's got to start somewhere, and I've already pointed out in several blogs the cliche, but true, saying: Don't despise small beginnings. I tell myself, I'm developing good writing habits right now. I have an outlet for telling my own story, and for expressing one of my favorite types of art. Somedays, I may even touch someone with my writing. And when all is said and done, I love what I do, ripples or not.

Still, I laughed out loud today when I read, yet again, another excerpt from Donald Millers' Blue like jazz. His thoughts on being a writer are hilarious, but not far from the truth:

"Writers don't make any money at all. We make about a dollar. It is terrible. But then again we don't work either. We sit around in our underwear until noon then go downstairs and make coffee, fry some eggs, read the paper, read part of a book, smell the book, wonder if perhaps we ourselves should work on our book, smell the book again, throw the book across the room because we are quite jealous that any other person wrote a book, feel terribly guilty about throwing the schmuck's book across the room because we secretly wonder if God in heaven noticed our evil jealousy, or worse, our laziness. We then lie across the couch facedown and mumble to God to forgive us because we are secretly afraid He is going to dry up all our words because we envied another man's stupid words. And for this, as I said before, we are paid a dollar. We are worth so much more."

Minus the part about earning a dollar (because, let's face it, right now no one is paying me anything to write) and the part about not working, this pretty much describes what I'm talking about, somedays as a writer, or aspiring writer. Maybe one of these days I'll get to sit around in my underwear and work on a book that will change the world and someone else will be quoting me on their blog.

1 comment:

  1. Lol! I also want to read that book and see the movie!