"Very few people who are supposedly interested in writing are interested in writing well. They are interested in publishing something… They are interested in being a writer, not writing… If this is what you are interested in, I am not going to be much use to you. I feel that the external habits of the writer will be guided by his common sense or his lack of it and by his personal circumstances; and that these will seldom be alike in two cases. What interests the serious writer is not external habits but what Maritain calls, “the habit of art”; and he explains that “habit” in this sense means a certain quality or virtue of the mind. "-- Flannery O'Connor
In my very first post I said that part of the reason I started this blog was because all my life, every time someone asked me what I wanted to "do" with my life, I would usually say that I wanted to be a writer. But, aside from a self published newspaper when I was about seven or eight and a couple of short stories in middle and high school, I've never written anything.
In college I was an English major and so of course I wrote lots of papers. I got some really good grades and one teacher that I really respected gave me a lot of positive feedback. She also told me that I was an excellent researcher.
And of course now I write pretty much on a daily basis. Mostly letters, but I do also write and edit our newsletter that comes out twice a year.
And I have this blog.
BUT, I have this feeling sometimes, that there's a story down inside me that's waiting to be told. The kicker is, I don't know what it is. I have some characters in mind. I have only the vaguest of plots with no real ending. I once got about ten pages down on paper, but in an act of electronic stupidity I can barely even think about without wanting to puke, I lost that ten pages. I could probably recreate it, but I was really happy with those ten pages and I'm not sure I could ever duplicate it.
I've been reading the blogs of some people who are writing novels, or short stories: Angie at All Adither. Susan at One Woman Show. Jen(?) at Get in the Car!. Joshilyn Jackson over at Faster than Kudzu. They all talk about how much work they put into their writing. They talking about writing query letters. About rejection letters. They talk about how hard it is. Compare it to giving birth.
They obviously want it. Do I? Really?
What's holding me back? Is it laziness? Is it fear? Is it the fear of rejection that keeps me from even getting started? Maybe a little. Which is surprising, even to me, because I'm definitely a "it's better to have loved than lost than to have never loved at all" kind of girl. Nothing ventured, nothing gained, you know? And as Flannery so astutely noted at the top of the page, do I want to be a writer? Or do I just want to be published?
I thought that blogging might spur my creativity. And it does. For blogging. And right now I love blogging. I feel pretty certain that if I start to write any other type of material that my blog will suffer. And I'm not ready to give up my blog yet. Or is this just another excuse?
I don't know. And I'm not expecting an answer, though you are wise, oh internets. Just using you as a sounding board. Thank you for letting me bend your ear.
Updated to add: After reading AndreAnna's comment I wanted to make sure that it was clear that I view blog writing as "real" writing (not that you were implying I don't, AndreAnna, just wanted to clarify). Some of the best writing I've read has been in a blog. And it is often blogs that inspire me to better my own writing, making me think "Man, I wish I had written THAT!"