International Writers Magazine: The
I Ought to be as a Writer
are two characters here: Good girl, who is the do-er and Bad Girl,
who is the Procrastinator.
GG: I am a writer.
BG: I am not a COMPLETE writer, you mean.
GG: I have written some things but nothing special.
BG: But not ENOUGH.
GG: I am on my way!
BG: Your way is taking much too long (voice drips with sarcasm).
GG: Stop saying that! I am trying, I am doing the best I can, right?
BG: Your best is
not good enough. Thats why I think you should take a break. For
maybe a day or two or three or four or five or six or seven. I mean,
youre not Sophia Loren for goodness sake. Youre not some
goddess whose dreams are going to magically happen overnight. You are
just you, a nobody, someone no wants to know. Deal with it. I mean,
its completely arrogant to think that out of six billion people
in the world, that people would read a beginner writers work,
taste your words, savor in your surprises, disappointments, rejections,
highlights, advances and setups. What makes you think of putting your
name and standout in the same sentence?
GG: Hey, I like the way I write, sometimes. And when I dont, sometimes
Ill stop and read a book or go see a movie and celebrate the rejection
Im about to receive. Then, Ill start again and again and
write crap. But then, Ill just look at it and play with the words
until they sound write. Even if Im in a room full of people, it
sounds right to me and theyre half-way paying attention, then
BG: You mean, writing from the heart? Sounds romantic but it doesnt
pay the bills.
GG: It is romantic. Life is romantic, especially the would-be writer.
Its like a relationship. Its the thrill of the chase or
being chased after. Thats the fun part. Its the journey
from beginning to end.
BG: Yeah, I guess but the ending is so bogus. What do you do? Start
over again. Sounds like a chore, like washing the dishes. Yuck! No,
its like homework. Something you have to do and thats why
youre not a real writer: Blind optimism. Youd be better
off in politics. Me, I have to know where Im going.
GG: Who knows where I am going to end up at? I cant predict anything,
all I can do is love the words on the page and the language and everything
that makes me feel good and go from there. I may not ever get rid of
you but thatd be worse than getting rid of me and my hopes and
dreams. As long as I finish, you will always be second to me, right?
BG: Who said anything about second place? I didnt even know there
GG: Umm, yeah. Second place means settling. Accepting less than what
BG: So, are you saying that Im holding you back? I didnt
force you to stop writing. Didnt force you to take other peoples
comments to heart? Didnt force you to publish the first piece
of crap that comes to mind? Where is my gun? I dont have one.
Oh, no! If anyone is to blame, its you!
GG: Me? Youve GOT to be kidding me!
BG: No, Im serious. Blaming other people, making excuses, its
all a part of the rose-colored glasses you wear in your failure to accept
GG: I dont think I looked at anything in my life quite that way.
Maybe youre right. I need to stop trying to make myself into something
Im not and just accept that Im okay with how I write. Theres
room in the universe for me and even you too. After all, whos
going to tell be the negative force in my life that engages me and keeps
me on my toes?
BG: That would be me.
GG: And whos going to welcome distraction in my life to keep me
from burning out?
BG: That would be me.
GG: And whos going to help me to write by creating this obstacle
course in my brain That I must complete. Kind of like when I was in
fourth grade? *Cries* I must, I must do something with my bust. Oh,
what is the damn line? Im getting Judy Blume flashbacks!
BG: Get over yourself.
GG: Yeah, sit and spin. Anyway, where was I? Oh, thats right!
I decree that my life is filled with not listening to other people but
instead just following my inner-guide.
BG: That sounds terrible. Cocky. Wimpy. Cowardly.
GG: Oh, thats not what I meant. What I mean is getting to a place
where Im following my passions and writing. More than yoga, more
than calling a psychic, more than winning the lottery. Caring about
nothing else except learning and reading and writing and moving forward.
That my friend is the greatest self-gift for the would-be writer.
© Piper Davenport March 2008
Piper Davenport, is a graduate of the University of Michigan-Dearborn
with a BA in English and currently in the MFA in Creative Writing Program.
Besides Hack Writers, I have also been published in the Lyceum, Pitkin
Review, Back Hand Stories, 63 Channels, Jade Myst and Poetic Diversity.Org.
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