–You can’t really write, you know. Everything you write is garbage.
–Anyone who says you can write is just being polite.
–That story you’re working on is going to be scooped by someone else so don’t bother.
All of this makes me wonder why on earth someone out there wants so badly for me to NOT write. Because it really seems like there’s an imp out there whose sole goal is to ensure that I get nothing written of consequence.
Noth that anything I write would be earth shattering or life-changing for anyone else but me (and perhaps my husband). I’m not one of those people who believes that my writing was passed down by God or angels or salamanders. But I do believe that we all touch certain people and often in ways we never realise.* I more and more am wondering whose life is going to be touched by the book(s) I write and how that life will be different if I listen to these buggers and don’t get anything written at all.
When I was eleven we didn’t have cable. (We never had cable when I was growing up.) I was, however, deeply in love with Art Garfunkel and bound and determined that I would see him in “The Concert In Central Park” which was airing on HBO. So I and another girl from across the street traveled on our bikes to a neighbourhood about a mile away to persuade Monica–a girl from my church–to let us watch it at her house. Back then in 1981 it seemed like only one in fifty houses had HBO. It certainly felt like we pedalled past 50 houses to get to Monica’s.
After we watched Art (and Paul Simon, grudgingly) we thanked Monica and left. I only saw her sporadically after that, but whenever I think of her I feel bad for using her. She’s one of the few people that I ever used in a calculating manner and I’m glad that I was so young when I did use her because it left me with such a bad taste I’ve strived to avoid it ever since. (“It” being the using of people. Not the feeling-bad.)
Last night I dreamed about Monica; she died when we were in our early twenties. I believe it was an asthma attack. Last night I dreamed that I went over to her house for her birthday on May 2nd and took her out to lunch at her favourite restaurant. While we were eating Sopapillas she told me that I really needed to get my book finished. This dream has creeped me out. Am I soon to join her? Am I not writing because I feel guilty and feel like to finish my book and get it published I’d have to use people? Hmmm. I wonder about all this. I also wonder incidentally how it changed Monica’s life on earth to have Betsy and me at her house that summer afternoon watching the concert. Maybe I helped in some small way. Then again maybe I was just using someone for her HBO.
*All of this reminds me of how high my hopes are for the new Kiefer Sutherland series on Fox called “Touch”. It’s pretty much about this basic construct, which is something I’ve always believed but never seen addressed.