One of my professors complimented my writing last week. He said I'm "on another level." It made me feel good, because "My self-confidence is still down here," I replied, and my hand was 3 inches off the floor.
Today my other favorite professor read us a poem to kick off class, as he always does. These two lines by David Whyte stood out as to why I don't feel like A Writer anymore:
what is true to the
does not need
to be explained.
and then why, at other times, I do:
has its own
I wrote in my notebook, "I'm gifted with words, but I'm not A Writer." I don't understand thesis sentences and correct structure, and nothing in me wants to. I'm not enamoured by the process, or by wearing writerly clothes, or reading books on writing, the way people who are truly following their bliss feel and do. I don't have that feeling, "This book is burning inside me, just waiting to be written!"
My friend Jenny said she writes by ear, and that's what I do as well, but mostly I just feel too tired, and a little lazy. I don't want to do the hard parts, show up every day, blah blah blah like Real Writers do. I did have a dream a couple of months ago that I was talking to an editor and said "I'm going to write soon, but I need to spend more time resting on the third floor of this artsy brick building."
I'm lacking a good mentor, and a good role model (I
do get excited when I read Elizabeth Gilbert). I like documenting the experiences in my life that stand out and move me, and communicating it in ways that are worth other people spending their precious time on to read. I did want to be the next L.M. Montgomery when I was little, and childhood dreams count for something. It's just still not time. And I'd rather write one great book at age 60 than ten mediocre ones over the course of my life; that alone feels like a good place to be.