Thursday, May 26, 2005

Talking to Myself

Sometimes, dear Reader (meaning me), I know I'm only talking to myself here. Just whistling a tune in a graveyard where the only people who might relate are the artists and philosophers whose sayings I collect in a little notebook. Luckily, they're mostly dead strangers, or they might rightly consider themselves above such an unwilling exchange with me.

I have more unproven ideas than energy. I mistrust my capacity to execute. Even minimal acknowledgement, much less success, seems distant and hardly inevitable. This is whining and compaining, I admit. But even this doubt and grimness serve as a kind of fuel for working.

It's tempting to escape to my balcony, try to pick up a smoking habit, and give up the day to drinking. Of course I won't. But not because I feel myself to be so gifted that I would deprive the world if I didn't keep trying. In fact, I'm less comparatively sure of my own talents than ever. No, today I'll do at least a couple things for my unborn career because I've grown too stubborn to quit. And because I acknowledge that in borrowing support from those who care about me, my freedom to pursue this folly is an inestimable luxury. Further, I'm unwilling to give up my identity as a writer despite the fact many people find my current claim to it illegitimate. I'm resisting the permanence of failure even though I know it's a strong possibility.

No one will be harmed if I stop. No one will be saved if I succeed. That is the truth of most writing, perhaps especially fiction. But what remains within this formless, meaningless endeavor is a little spark that I experience as purpose. This silly thing I've found that feels like what I'm supposed to do. So I'll do it. Knowing there are a thousand ways I could be more useful to the world that all seem worthwhile but false.

Thanks, me. I needed that.

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