After failing so miserably at being Nurse Becky and every other “career” I’ve tried, I’ve been so fortunate to have found something that I really, truly loved to do. When I discovered that I could write, it was like suddenly learning I could breathe underwater.
I wrote stories not because I wanted to, or felt obligated to, but because I had to. Those words were locked inside my brain, just itching to get out, and I could hardly wait to get in front of my computer to type some more. On the rare occasion I couldn’t manage to string them together into sentences, flowing into paragraphs, forming entire posts, I wrote them in my head.
I had finally found my calling. After years of being certain I was an utter failure, I’d found what I was supposed to do.
The next logical progression was, of course, to turn all of these essays into a collection of essays. Only it didn’t happen easily. I expected that. If it had happened when I began, I’m entirely certain that it wouldn’t have worked out for one reason or another.
But as the months turned into years, I began to doubt myself. Was this really what I was supposed to be doing? Was living my life on The Internet enough for me? Did it really matter if I ever turned those books of essays into something more than semi-completed drafts?
I simply didn’t know anymore.
Rather than dwell, I busied myself living my life on The Internet. I founded Mushroom Printing in July of last year and Band Back Together in September. I wrote columns for other sites. I signed up to go to conferences like Type A Mom and BlogHer. I got better at The Twitter. I decided to wage war against Mark Zuckerberg and The Facebook. I decided to take Band Back Together and turn it into a non-profit. I made business cards. Sold ads.
And all that time, in the back of my head, that feeling of Failure at Books, with a Big Fat F, sat there, silently mocking me.
Things which, at the time I mention it, seem ridiculous to everyone around me, have always been spectacularly in focus to me. I know what I am supposed to do next because I just know. I don’t need the approval of a soul, I don’t worry about risks or being mocked, because I know I am right. In the end, I have always been proved to have been right.
I am excellent, it seems, at seeing things clearly.
Except when I cannot. Which is how I’ve felt about my books. They’ve felt out of focus for so long that the self-doubt has crept in around the corners, making me question myself. I hate to question myself more than I hate John C. Mayer.
But perhaps you all are right. Perhaps it is time to write – really write – them. If the publishing industry doesn’t want me, well, that’s their loss. If The Man wants to keep me down*, well fuck him.
Believing in myself – knowing my Pranksters have my back – maybe that’s enough to put things back into focus again.
As always, Pranksters, I owe you a debt of gratitude I can never repay.
It’s time, I think, to write the shit out of my books. Unless you have any better suggestions.