A few days ago, in a PMS-induced mood swing to hard anger, a thought blasted into my mind:
My writing is not a problem.
When I started writing in my very early teens, my father was pursuing a writing career and being ‘difficult’ about it. I won’t go into any detail here about his behavior at that time because it’s a story for another time and place. But I will say this: he made my mother’s life a living hell at times with her ‘lack of support’ (his words, not mine). When I started writing I could clearly sense my mother was very worried I would become like my father about my writing: demanding and ‘difficult’. So, I worked my ass off not to be anything like my father when it came to my writing. I worked my ass off to keep it between him and me if I wanted to talk about it, and to not let it get in the way of responsibilities I had. Eventually, my mother came to support my writing in her own way. She had every right to feel the way she did, and I have absolutely no regrets about keeping it from her and keeping my feelings about my writing from her.
In my twenties, my parents wanted me to keep writing and they supported that by making time for me to write and also financially supporting it, too. Yet it wasn’t a popular decision and my parents told me to just keep doing what I was doing, and they would take any shit given to them on my behalf. It hurt like hell knowing they were taking shit for me, and I understood why they wanted me to stay silent but at times I felt like they took away my right to confront people and yes, tell them off and to not dictate my life to their fucking whims. I sacrificed a lot to keep writing because I didn’t want to disappoint my parents but at the same time, I was also trying not to create more problems for them. This in turn severely fucked me up and it’s taken the last seven years to work through that shit and begin to heal.
Yet this is not a hit piece on the past or anyone who felt like my writing was a problem for them. My writing was NEVER a problem for anyone nor was it anyone’s business, nor was it anyone’s right to dictate what I could or couldn’t do with my own time to begin with.
This piece is for every writer who has felt like they were a ‘bother’ or being ‘selfish’ for pursuing their writing. This is for every writer who has ever taken shit and had people shit on them and tried to tear them down for their own bullshit reasons, none of which matter here. Whether or not writing is worth pursuing is up to each individual writer. Whether or not a person will be successful at writing is always unknown until it happens, or it doesn’t. No one knows what the future will bring and anyone who says they do is full of shit and can just fuck all the way off from here.
How do I know I’m any good at writing? Well, if I want to be a smart-ass, you’re here reading this, right? 😊 Actually, it’s about engagement, and how people have engaged with my writing.
When I first started writing, my dad told me if he didn’t think I had talent he would have just given me a pat on the head and sent me on my way. He would not have engaged with me and treated me like a fellow writer. And though I’ve had rejections, most of them weren’t form rejections. They were opportunities to learn as a writer and I’m glad I could see that. Now with this blog and other venues, I can see what pieces of mine are getting read and by how many people. Occasionally I even get comments which I GREATLY appreciate. Also, in the thirty-five years I’ve been writing, the writing landscape has changed considerably and there are many avenues to write and even earn money from that weren’t there before. For me, the opportunities are just waiting for me to go after them.
So, I will say this again: my writing is not a problem, and it never was. And anyone who thinks about making it their problem or any bullshit like that will be told to fuck all the way off. If you’re not neglecting your responsibilities, or lashing out at people over your writing, then it’s not a problem for anyone. If you feel like your writing is a problem when it isn’t, you can remove that talon from yourself. It will be painful but well worth it. When you do, burn it to ash, sweep the ash away, then go write.
Most writers battle the insecurity of thinking whether or not their writing is good enough. For me, my insecurity has always been whether or not my writing will be a problem for someone. You won’t know if your writing is good enough, or if will bring success unless you put it out there, and unless you give it everything you’ve got. That’s something my dad spent a lot of years trying to teach me.
But as my dad knew, sometimes it takes me a long time to figure things out.
One thought on “Behind the Story – My Writing Is Not a Problem”
I really like the clarity in your writing as well as the overuse of irony being absent. Very refreshing ✍️🖊️✒️