Teenagers, get outta my way! You're not the only ones who need to wallow in the slough of angst. I am certain that the angst I feel today is broader and more compelling than the angst I felt at thirteen or seventeen. (And yet still marvelously self-centered.)
As a teenager, I was more confident than I am today. After all, I faced seven teachers every day whose role was to encourage me.
Today, there's my 76-year-old mother-in-law, a retired teacher who just can't stop. Last time she spent the weekend with us, she insisting on “helping” me clean the kitchen by holding the dustpan for me so that I had to take excessive care not to whisk dust particles into her face. Her enthusiastic praise? "You're such a good sweeper. Not everyone can sweep like you do."
Wow. Talk about your skill sets. The world cries out for more excellent sweepers.
Which pinpoints the source of my angst.
I wanna author fiction. I've chosen the writer's life as the path that matters to me. Some days, you just have to wonder why. I've rejected the forms of writing that come more easily to me. I've already written for a newspaper, for corporate PR, for ad agency PR campaigns. For volunteer organizations and my church.
Fiction has, so far, rejected me.
But it appears that the urge to write is terminal. As my writer friend Patti said the other day, “Wouldn’t you rather have people at your funeral say, “Wasn’t she trying to write a book?” instead of, “Didn’t she keep a clean house?”Apparently, the answer is yes. I’m still writing.