Tuesday, January 24, 2012

In The Heart Or In the Head

What makes a writer.

I have struggled witht his question for years. Mainly because I wish I was a writer. I mean I write, I love to write. I have a constant inner monologue contemplating the mysteries of the earth my heart & choices I have made. I have never submitted anything and honestly dont know how writers can put their inner most thoughts out into the world to be judged and edited and picked apart LITERALLY sentence by sentence.

I wonder if its possible to become a published author if you did NOT go to college? When I pick up a book I always read the write up about their life, where they grew up, when to college and there is a common theme. They ALWAYS went to college BA/MFA ect ect. making an uneducated person like myself feel that I will never learn the things they have because of the circumstances of my life and the fact I never felt good enough for anything in my life when I was 'young enough' to go to college. Perhaps the reason I have never put my work out there s that I dont want someone else to say it stinks. Schrödinger's cat (google it).

My question to put out there is this: Is the talent & art of being a writer in the heart or in the head? Or both perhaps. Maybe you cannot be a writer without rejection after rejection
you can only attain from a stuffy professor (who has been rejected a million times themselves) rejecting you and your work. I had a Literature teacher in high school tell me I wasn't a writer & I had no forseeable future doing it. Now my 35 year old self would love to go back and tell him what the hell does he know about writing & how dare he take the dream of a 16 year old girl & throw it in the trash.

I guess if I thought about it, I could say he was testing me, if I couldnt handle one meaningless person telling me I was no good I would never have the ...er...balls ... to get out there and do it. But college, for me, like many others, was never an option. The circumstances and location of my childhood would never have allowed it.

I met a boy once upon a time, he was in university and he KNEW in his heart of hearts that he would be a writer, at least thats the confidence he showed me. I wonder if there were times when someone told him he was crap & to give up? Why didnt he listen? Why did I? He didnt grow up with this perfect childhood, was he told day in day out by his loving parents how he could be anything he wants and he had all the potential in the world? Doubt it. He had it in himself. He told himself these things and he believed them, because he did it, he wrote and wrote and worked and worked & achieved his goal of getting published. I envy his inner monologue. Mine has failed me, why is it easier to believe all the bad things & none of the good things about ourselves. Perhaps I need therapy ;)

I am fascinated with the process of writing, how the ideas flow, how the writer develops them. do they take notes, do they sit down in front of a computer or typewriter (do people still use them?) and type in Chapter One I just begin. Did they see a photo or a moment in time that sparked the idea in them. Maybe that's the difference in being a writer in your heart & in your head. I am a writer in my heart but have a hard time getting my voice to come out. I hope that one day I do find a way to tell a story, and I hope I get rejected because I think it would be a badge of honor saying I didn't succeed but I TRIED. And no one could take that away from me.

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