Alternately titled: Why I’m Not Cut Out to Be a Writer
“Here’s the bottom line: Someone who is more interested in themselves than they are the world at large probably won’t make it as a writer. You have to be insanely empathetic to be a writer. To be a writer you have to think everything is more interesting than you.
Would-be writers are forever wanting to share themselves with the world. Fair enough; that’s a big part of writing, for sure. But if, in being totally honest with yourself, you find that you are more interested in sharing yourself with the world than you are with, in essence, sharing the world with the world, then save yourself the trouble, and stop imagining you’re a writer. You’re not.”
–John Shore (from his blog Suddenly Christian)
I never heard of this guy or the books he’s written, but when I stumbled across his blog the other day I really ate up his series on “How to Make a Living Writing” because, what do you know, that’s what I want to do! When I came across the words I quoted above, my heart sank. Lately I have been realizing just how selfish I am (this happens every couple weeks). I would like to fix this about myself for many reasons, and it was tough to swallow this guy’s words which essentially say that I’ve disqualified myself from writing success by being the miserable little selfish being I am. I guess it’s kind of humorous to think of “fixing” my selfishness because it’s one of those basic human problems…some may even go so far as to call it “original sin.” And in that case, I can’t actually fix it…I just have to accept God’s grace and let it transform me at a rate that won’t kill my mortal body. (If I didn’t hate the term, “But I digress” I would use it here…) So anyway, Mr. Shore’s trying-too-hard-to-be-funny-in-that-frankly-my-dear-way advice about writing, along with some mild cases of writer’s block, have sent me into a melancholy hopelessness about my future as a writer. (Is melancholy hopelessness redundant? See? I have no idea what I’m doing).
But. Even if I’m not a writer, I do want God to help me with this selfishness thing. And maybe as I learn to care more about others and their experiences than my own little life, He can use me to write again.
Hmm. Maybe I’ll try writing an article about my personal experience with self-absorption. Hee…irony, friends. I love it.