Waste not, want more

No variations on a theme.

Anything I set my mind to – Part 2

Silly me. My last post, Anything I set my mind to – Part 1, was so titled because I had a clear, sequel type idea that I wanted to explore in a follow up post aptly entitled Part 2. In a twist of “see, I told you I was a scatterbrain,” I have absolutely no idea what that brilliant thought (aren’t all forgotten thoughts brilliant?) was.

I do know this. I’ve wanted to be a writer since I was a kid. I wanted to do other things too, some that involved writing, but I always wanted to be a “writer”. And to me that meant something relatively specific. I wanted to write a novel, and sell it, and people would read it, and at least a few people I’d never met would like it. Ideally that would happen more than once. A repeat cycle. The problem? Never really thought I could do it. Never willing to take the risk. Always wanted someone else to discover me, like some model standing in line at the grocery store. I also didn’t want anyone to be right about how dreams and artsy fartsiness don’t pay the bills.

It’s funny. Instead, I did what I thought at the time was the practical variation of writer: Communication Studies. To an awful lot of people that would be pretty darn hillarious. I’m all for the liberal arts degree, and verbally smack people who talk about it as a go-nowhere, employment killer. But it’s not nursing; it doesn’t set you down in some obvious “practical” positions. Socrates and Marshall McLuhan (the medium is the message guy) do not a clear path make.

Aspiring writers are not a vanishing breed in the blogosphere so I don’t want to dwell on this self-imposed barrier. I consider myself relatively aware of my weaknesses and very practical. These two traits can be healthy but are difficult to reconcile. I truly believe that we all have things to contribute. But there are so many good stories out there, vast experiences and important memories. Isn’t it a little self-indulgent to think that I could make a contribution to that discourse? I’ve met me.

Thankfully, never doesn’t last forever. But I can see how never really believing – the art of the possible or whatever – can definitely slow these things down.

I’m maxed out on self-indulgence for now. Saying goodbye to my brilliant thought.

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October 14, 2011 - Posted by | Childhood Complaints, Doing it the hard way, Self-reflection | , ,

4 Comments »

  1. Oh, Rose, forgetting the subject for Part 2 reminds me so much of me, I can’t help but laugh. I especially love the line, “I know me”–too funny and true! But I understand–writing is painful–hopefully we will both succeed–in the meantime, I’m cheering you on!
    Kathy

    Comment by Kathryn McCullough | October 14, 2011 | Reply

    • It’s always great to know that I’m not alone 🙂 My partner says that to be truly famous, a person has to be pretty full of themselves – not that I have any aspirations of fame per se, but I always thought that was interesting/problematic, and incorrect. I guess it helps. Good thing there can be individual definitions of success! Go, Kathy!

      Comment by Rose | October 14, 2011 | Reply

  2. I particularly agree with your ideas of contribution. I think that we need to be wary of ourselves (and others) who are quick to contribute, but slow to absorb – I feel like there’s a better word, but I’m too lazy to look it up. Some artists are prolific early on, but there are a great many people who spend most of their time learning from those who came before. I for one, tend to appreciate those perspectives more so.

    Our society is so youth-orientated (oh my god, that was an unoriginal sentence!) and I sometimes think that this applies to the cognitive elements of life as well. Listening and reading and even just trying out your ideas in real life is way too under-valued. Not to be too zeitgeist-y, but this seems especially apparently with all the talk of Apple lately. There seems to be so much praise because of it’s “new-ness”, and that being a positive trait on its own.

    Yikes, I feel like I’m moving toward a grade 11 persuasive essay here. Write a novel now, but I think the one that you complete at the age of 84 will be my favourite ; )

    Comment by CheyenneVyvyan | October 14, 2011 | Reply

    • I welcome your essay and love the idea of absorbing more than you contribute. Similarly, I am suspicioius of those who speak more than they listen and dominate group discussions with pronouncements on how it is. Another advantage to patience is how much less self-censoring older people seem to do. I’ll consider the next 30 years training and absorption time. If I die in the meantime, I’ll have hedged by bets!

      Comment by Rose | October 14, 2011 | Reply


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