One of my fellow Drinkers With Writing Problems members keeps pushing me. Mostly he’s pushing me when he’s drunk, so I tend to take it only partially to heart. Still he doesn’t stop. Every time I’m with him and he’s drunk, he’s pushing me. “I’m trying!” I always say. He doesn’t believe me. He has an expectation that I’m not meeting. I know what the expectation is. However, I’ve still decided I’m boring and not tragic. He wants me to dig deep to expose myself through my writing. Even though I’d like to be raw and exposed, I’m shallow and write stuff that I think other people will find amusing or entertaining.
My writing isn’t profound like Dave’s. It isn’t funny like Kim or Elizabeth’s. It isn’t literary like Anita’s. It’s mostly just lists of vomit that fall out my ear. I got 3000 views on my piece on not having babies. That makes me panic. Now those people have an expectation too. It’s probably that I’ll write something for them again. I probably won’t. I’m not a writer.
I’m not. I can write things, and I can try to find cues in my life that others will find interesting and write about them, but I’m not a writer. I can use a semicolon properly; I can correct grammar and spelling, and I can use words and form sentences. That doesn’t make me a writer; it maybe makes me a grammar nazi. Being in this writing group is one of the biggest forms of torture in which I’ve ever voluntarily participated.
The amount of anxiety I feel every time I meet with this group or any time people need to edit my works is astounding. I’ve tried to quit almost 6 times. I usually leave the meeting when they start talking about reading their works in public or the number of people who read our pieces. I feel like a fraud amongst the real deals. I don’t belong, and I’m not even as good at drinking as they are.
What am I? I’m a woman in a writing group. I’m sometimes a liar to make my stories sound more interesting. Although crazy shit does actually happen to me. Crazy things don’t make writing profound though. I’m gossipy, and I’ll talk shit when I shouldn’t but mostly because I am not as interesting so I like to live via other people’s drama. I’ve read the description of a sociopath and sometimes I wonder if I am one. None of that makes me a writer.
I’m searching for something that’s missing (it’s not a kid), and so I go to creative writing circle. I pretend to evoke feeling. Perhaps if I pretend, the feeling will actually come to me. I’m still waiting for something to strike me, to tell me, “YOU ARE A WRITER!” What if it never comes? What if Dave Hughes thinks I’m something I can’t be? What if his pushing just makes me fall over? I can’t write a piece about my vagina being a flower, or not being a flower. I can’t write a poem about holding a human life at it slips away. I can only write a piece about proper behavior on a cruise ship, and I can only write that if I convince myself that no one will read it.
Tomorrow we have a meeting. I’ll probably pretend to be literary or profound. I’ll probably fail miserably. I might plan out how to quit the group again, but I’m pretty sure they won’t let me quit, again. They are good that way, probably because they are real writers. I hope, oh I hope, that I find some inspiration that moves me, that cuts me, that makes me bleed. If not, next week “On a Cruise Ship” comin’ at ya.