“Artists are people who are not at all interested in the facts—only in the truth. You get the facts from outside. The truth you get from inside.” --Ursula K. LeGuin

Wednesday, June 7, 2023

A Writer’s Dilemma


A writer does have a dilemma. I don’t think it’s just me, for I have heard others grapple with this concept: Why am I writing? Is it for me? Or is it for those somebodies who manage to stumble upon our work?


You know how somebody of authority can make a negative comment that sticks in your brain like a piece of plastic/foil/paper that, try as you might, won’t stay in the garbage bin but jumps back on your finger as though magnetized. Pretty soon, you are screaming and pulling out the entire plastic, scented, drawstring bag from the plastic bin under your counter and throwing it into the plastic container in the garage to be taken out by a humongous truck and dumped into a tremendous pile with other pieces of plastic/foil/paper that were stuck to other people’s fingers.




Once I quoted a writer to a psychiatrist who responded, “Writing is self-aggrandizement.” 


If I had the confidence I have now, I would have told him he was full of shit.


I guess he didn’t like that author, so he besmirched all of literature.


However, writers sometimes wonder, “Why am I writing? Am I some stupid person thinking I can write concepts that ring with someone else? Why would people want to read me? What do I have to contribute?


Yet you know you are meant for something. You know you were not put on this earth to work for somebody else with the vision you lack. You make somebody else rich instead of yourself. You don’t believe you have a story to tell, a thought worth saving, or a concept that might be a lifesaver to someone else.


We do have a calling. Steven Pressfield presses home his idea on Writing Wednesdays that finding that calling is Your Purpose in Life.


And until you find that purpose, you are wandering in the wilderness.

I loved hearing John Travolta tell James Lipton Inside the Acter’s Studio that when producers told him he would never make it as an actor, he said, “They’re nuts.” 


So sing your song. Tell your story. Build your gismo. Start your business. And don’t let any naysayer throw cold water on your fire.



P.S. When someone asked James Lipton to answer a question he asked his guests, “What do you expect to find in heaven?” Lipton hoped God would say, “You see, Jim, you were wrong. I exist. But you can come in anyway.”