I gave up on writing. I found it unfulfilling. I might as well have slit my own throat the day I gave up on writing.
I used to be on fire for writing. I don’t know what happened. Well, actually I do. I grew up. And when I did, everything changed.
I was told incessantly writing is not a real job and only a distraction from reality. I was told writers don’t make a lot of money and I might as well spend my time being a teacher or working in an office.
What was the reason for me giving up on writing?
Nothing proved to be fulfilling anymore. Many great novels have come out over the years. Many great writers have come about. Nothing proves fulfilling. Nothing ever has since that day.
I couldn’t bear to see the sight of a book knowing I gave up on so many of my own to write. I listen to music as a way to cope with the pain, only to realize it is an extension of what I lost. All I hear is words and sentences drowned in beats. No soul. No connection what so ever.
I wander the aisles of bookstores all hours of the night. I can’t even purchase a book knowing I’m not going to read it or without wishing I could see mine on the same shelf. I became this zombie in search of living story. I began to watch people read books and go to bookstores. I’d sit in bookstores and libraries for hours, reading books and doing research to feed the pitiless vortex crying out for knowledge that is my brain.
“Why don’t you write?” you ask, “why not just write and channel all of that into writing?” If only it were that easy.
It must be easy if people like J.K Rowling and Herman Melville, Truman Capote, and many others can do it.
Don’t forget the fact that J.K Rowling was contemplating suicide when writing Harry Potter; she was living on welfare with her daughter. Herman Melville faced immense disappointment during the initial release of Moby Dick. Self-doubt is a writer’s best friend and worst enemy.
It takes a while and a lot for writers to feel like they proved themselves. I’d be lying if I said I didn’t want to see a book of mine on the shelves of a bookstore. I’d be lying if I said I didn’t care what others thought of my work. I’d be lying if I said it wasn’t about making money for me because a part of it is.
For many writers, we want to make money because we want to believe writing is a “real job.” Being a teacher is great. Being a professor is wonderful. But you can’t replace nor pacify the urge of being writer without actually writing.
Writing is the way I live and the way I express who I am. It is not a part of me. It is all of me.
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