Soon I will be a full-time writer which, frankly, scares the crap out of me. As I phase out, over the next few months, my time as a professor, I will be face to face with what I always wanted to be, said I was going to be, and now must be; that is, a writer. Not a part-time dalliance, not a self-absorbed “hobby,” not anything else but one of those odd people identified as – a “writer.” No excuses. Time to produce. So be it.
Gordon B. Hinkley said, “All writers should be put in a box and thrown in the sea.” He might be right, but I will not be thwarted. I will have to learn to say so long to procrastination, excuse-making, and most of my time on Facebook. I will have to produce. I will have to be a bit selfish with my time. I will have to be disciplined! A novel, then another. Maybe a short story. A new novel.
I have no expectations of best-sellers, movie contracts, interviews on TV, ever-aware of Flannery O’Connor’s quote about expecting too much which produces a softness that can lead to bitterness. I will write, revise, edit, and send out my work. Then I’ll start something new. How weird is that?
I will develop a thick skin.
I will be disciplined. I will put in the research. I will seek critique from honest people I respect.
But to be honest, I’m not sure I can avoid what the tremendous author, James Lee Burke, calls the “corrosive self-doubt” that afflicts all writers of all genres. That the ugly thing that can intimidate.
I’ll keep you posted, dear reader, as I gradually ease into my new life as a writer. Shall I purchase a beret?