This is not a gift. It's practice. Like, do your homework kind of fucking practice.

Sometimes I tire of this "gift", this "talent" I have for writing - a gift that I argue is comprised of mostly practice and study. Want to write well? Read a lot of fucking books and write everyday that you can. Do that for several years and BAM - other people will compliment you in awe of your "gift" and your "talent." That's what this "gift" is. That's what ANY "gift" is. Practice and study.

I wasn't born with this. I worked for 24 years to be able to do this. Don't call it a gift. It's fucking self-imposed homework is what it is.

A "gift" implies that is it something one must share with the world - the entire world, lest they be deprived of of your brilliance. I tire of that as well. As much as I've discovered the benefits of public writing, it doesn't make me a fucking genius. It just makes me someone who took all the handwritten journals over the years and moved onto writing on a website that was totally cool back in 2006.

Most (okay, ALL) of my writing is just me trying to keep my head above water. There's not a lot of energy left over write in any other fashion for any other group of people. No, it's NOT as easy as just editing 17 years total of writing. No, it's NOT as easy as just throwing the whole thing on whatever new self-publishing site is new. No, it's NOT as easy to go entry by entry and rewrite the commentary as I see it NOW, years later.

And maybe that's WHY I should do it. Because it's NOT easy - and nothing good has ever just waltzed right up and sat in my lap. But when Maslow's Hierarchy is toppling from the base down, goddamnit, I have the right to do something that helps it from falling over entirely, and that's general journaling.

Will I ever have the energy and the spare psychic wherewithal to write something more than just a journal? I have no idea, and that idea is yeeears away right now anyways. I'm in deep waters, writing is a life-raft, and I'm not ready to build a goddamn cool life-raft designed mansion on the sea just to impress others.

I'm not sure why this frustration is coming this morning. It's been a few days since Jesse and I got into about my writing (and what it should be and what I should do with it.) Maybe there really is the next Great American Novel inside of me.

But she's gonna have to wait in line, because right now I've 200 dollars worth of bills to pay, no money coming IN to pay it, and cramps that are borderline bodily implosion. This is maintenance writing, and y'know what?

I'm okay with that.

This entry was originally posted at
For writing stories other than your own lifestory, it needs creativity and a gift/will (undecided which of both or even both) to tell the tales of others.
Literally, I'd think that every author bases his characters in his stories on people he knew or personally met. Or, at least for the different things he's seen in his own life.
So... you need a talent anyway for creating tales yourself based upon the real tales of others and turn them into something that could sound interesting to others or give them an important lesson in life, but letting it not sound like a mega-wise snobby boring teacher comes around the corner who tries to lecture everyone.
This is some kind of talent one must acquire through hard work on the skill, if not also mental work - 'cause if you circle around yourself all the time as a person, then you won't make it creatung stories that are about the fates of other people.
You're free to squander your "gift," and you don't owe it to anyone.

When I was growing up, I was always considered a very good artist. This had been the product of a lot of alone time when I was a kid, and making discoveries with the pen and paper that led to more discoveries; I allowed people to tell me how "gifted" I was, even if I didn't own it.

I was also very shy about people who begged me, "Can I see your sketchbook?" I was a little offended by this, and felt it was intrusive. (How do you feel about people who ask to read your journals?)

I don't draw anymore; at the age of 35, I went on "strike" after having been involved with a psychologically abusive married man; I found myself having to stroke his ego and lay on the compliments until he went back to his wife in Richmond, Virginia. (It made me want to puke to have to keep telling him how wise and talented he was, over and over.) Then I dumped him; somehow, he never saw it coming.

Unfortunately, I never found a reason to break the strike, and I still don't draw.