I've never been able to accept that I'm not a writer. But, my shelves are filled with books I haven't read, my files stuffed with notebooks half filled with incomplete observations and sketches, and my corpus consists of no more than graduate school term papers, unfinished snippets of short stories, and this blog. Once, a philosophy professor said that I "do have a knack for synopsizing," referring to a series of short exegeses for a Kant seminar. In my early twenties, a one paragraph pitch I wrote for my first wife's photography business got her praise for the writing but no work. Now, in my forties, I retain a happy facility for seeing what the hell other people are trying to say and for saying, briefly, what's on my own mind, but... where's my novel? It looks like I'm a born advertising writer (God have mercy on my soul) and...
"...and a critic," chimes in Satan, grinning.
No. We don't all have to produce a frigg'n novel, thank God. There are two many of them out there, anyways. But, I burn with frustration as I see others harness their curiosity, talent and ambition to self discipline in a way I never could. Instead of thanking God for my candle I curse the darkness beyond the wavering penumbra of light it does cast. I listen to my literary friends talk excitedly of ambitous works in the making and feel my soul shrink. My inadequacies are my furies.
Earlier today, I deleted a post in which I critiqued harshly the recent work of friends and colleagues. That critique was largely correct and it wasn't vicious, but it was blunt, and so I took it down. With whom was I being so blunt? Them? Or myself?
I hate weekends.