Tuesday, January 5, 2010

To Write or Not to Write

Calling myself a writer has honestly been a difficult challenge for me. When I worked in academia it wasn't difficult to rattle off my title and shove my business card engraved with the word "Director" on it to interested parties. It didn't matter if they really understood what my job at the time really entailed, it only mattered that I had the title and with that they assumed that I had large amounts of money and that it carried some kind of importance. Sure, for the most part I called the shots in the office and did as I pleased, however, I was never truly happy and never really had any true power. Now when people ask what I do and I tell them that I am a writer there is the inevitable question about what books I have published and where they can find them... not that they are really interested in reading them but only that I might say Amazon or Barnes and Nobles instead to give credibility or notoriety to my response.

So here is the rub: I have written a book and have been working on a second and even a third but at this time...there are no buyers. Does that make me less of a writer because I am not quite there yet or do I forge on? I'll answer my own question with an affirmative answer. Yes. The problem with being a writer is that we absorb so much information, see so many things, want to write and document so many things that it is often difficult to know where to begin.

I'm jealous of my friends who write for a living full time as reporters and journalists and in turn, they are jealous of me for the freedom that I have to do so as I please without anyone else to answer to. It seems that we are all jealous of each other but nothing is entirely perfect in either scenario. I have though, heard the words of Buddhist monks who claim to have nothing yet have complete happiness. I wonder where this happiness comes from and they tell me that it is because they have complete freedom. No bills, no family other than what they would call humanity, no car, no mortgage, no creditors, no temptations, no addictions - nothing. Nothing. No self.

While I feel that I do not have much either - I still have something. I have purpose. I have no explanations. I have no regret. If I am called to write then I will write and hope that I have at least resonated with one person, just one. With that I will be satisfied.

With Metta and Peace on this cold San Francisco evening.


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