I've been feeling a lot like celery lately. I've heard people say that it takes more calories to burn celery than there are calories in celery. It's probably not true, just one of those things people say because it feels true.
Right now I'm reading Stranger Things Happen by Kelly Link. She makes my best prose look like it was written by a five year old who has been dropped on her head a few times.
After the first few stories I was depressed. (This is not a new phenomenon, just the most recent occurrence.) How could I possibly continue to write when the standard has been set so much higher than I could ever reach?
This was it. Last straw. Game over. No more pretending that I was a writer. I’m turning in my pens and giving up. I'm going to be in this cubicle till the day I die.
Then I thought about what that would really mean. What a life without writing, even bad writing, would be like. A life where the only work I did took place M-F in my itty-bitty cubicle in the insurance industry. I could see that life rolling on and on day after day, being caught up in the waves with only my paycheck to hold on to.
I felt like I was going to throw up and it was awesome. Because that's how I know that I AM a writer. Even if I'm a bad writer, even if no one but my best friend ever reads my books and I have to publish them myself, I'm going to keep writing. No matter how bad I might feel about myself, comparing my work to Kelly Link or Neil Gaiman, or *insert brilliant writer who makes me feel like a stalk of celery here*
, not writing feels worse.
I may always have to keep my day job. I may always have to struggle to get writing time in, and struggle to get my writing read, and struggle to keep writing when I feel so mediocre that I can't imagine ever writing anything worth it's weight in ink. The struggle sucks and it makes me wish that I could give it all up and be an accountant, but the struggle is who I am.
I’m a writer not because I can’t imagine doing anything else but because I CAN imagine doing something else and it scares the shit out of me.